Elizabeth Warren has developed a story line to counter questions about her claims to Native American, minority, and woman of color status based upon family lore that has no documentary support. But only when you compare her recent response during a Patch.com livechat with her own campaign website, is it clear just how precise she has to be about her wording.

From Friday’s Patch.com livechat (note that it took her 5 minutes to post a response):

Patch: The first question came from a reader in Lynnfield. “Although there is a relatively small number of Mass. voters of Native American descent, do you feel you have addressed their concerns about your own statements involving your heritage?”

Elizabeth Warren: Growing up, my mother and grandparents often talked about our family’s Native American heritage. As a kid, I never asked them for documentation–what kid would?

But growing up, I knew that my parents had been very much in love, but that my father’s family said they couldn’t get married because my mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware. So they eloped. We grew up with this all our lives.

I never asked for–and never got–any benefit in school or in jobs. The people who hired me have said that they didn’t even know about it when they recruited me–and it played no role in my hiring.

So there it is.

Then, from Elizabeth Warren’s own campaign website, in a section entitled “Truth Team” [emphasis hers]:

When Elizabeth was growing up, her mother and grandparents often talked about her family’s Native American heritage.  She never thought to ask her Mom or her grandparents for documentation – what kid would?

But Elizabeth knew, even as a child, that her parents had eloped because her father’s family didn’t approve of her mother’s background – part Cherokee, part Delaware. This was an important part of Elizabeth’s family story.

Elizabeth’s heritage had no role in her hiring – the people who recruited and hired Elizabeth for her teaching jobs have all said they were not even aware of her Native American heritage when she was recruited.

There’s a saying that people who tell the truth don’t need to remember which story to tell.  Elizabeth Warren seems to need to remember which story to tell.