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Former Elizabeth Warren adviser: DNA test a “strategic failure” that was “depressing and unforgettable”

Former Elizabeth Warren adviser: DNA test a “strategic failure” that was “depressing and unforgettable”

NY Times: “the lingering cloud over her likely presidential campaign has only darkened”

The NY Times has an extensive report on the lasting and profound damage to Elizabeth Warren’s presidential ambitions from her decision in October to release the results of a DNA test to supposedly prove she was Native American.

When the DNA test was released, we noted the problems, Elizabeth Warren DNA test does NOT prove she’s Native American, contrary to the hype. 

Warren’s slick rollout of the DNA test results, accompanied by a professionally produced video about her family and a Boston Globe puff piece, collapsed into widespread mockery when the Globe had to issue corrections to its math, indicating Warren may be as little as 1/1024th Native American by DNA.

But that math was the least of her problems. As we discussed many times in posts dating back to 2012, DNA is not the measure of whether one is Native American. Warren can’t show any Native American ancestors, and never affiliated with Native American groups through tribal membership or otherwise.

The Cherokee Nation issued a blistering statement (emphasis added)

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal national set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

I characterized Warren’s misstep as a DNA Disaster: Elizabeth Warren proved she doesn’t have what it takes to take on Trump:

Why should Democrats nominate someone with such problems that go to the core of who she is as a person, who will be so easily mocked and turned into a sad caricature? There are other choices, likely dozens of others without the baggage.

Nathan Robinson, someone who considers himself generally a supporter of Warren, wrote in Current Affairs that how Warren has handled the Native American issue has rendered her an unwinnable challenger to Trump:

… I have liked Elizabeth Warren for a long time, but this is a massive political liability. She is wrong on this, she doesn’t seem to know she is wrong, she refuses to apologize, and she continues to make it worse. I don’t know why, instead of suggesting that this is a baseless smear, she can’t just say clearly and definitively that she shouldn’t have spent years publicly touting her Native ancestry. This stupid issue would dominate any contest with Donald Trump. It would never end. It would prevent us from ever actually discussing any serious issues. It would be like the goddamn email scandal all over again. And Warren has shown that she would handle it badly. At this point, I do not see how she can be a serious presidential contender.

That is the cruelest cut from this episode. Having set out to prove she can take on Trump, Warren proved the opposite.

Democrats want someone who can beat Trump. ANYONE who can beat Trump. Warren showed Democrats she is not The One.

Polling reflected the damage to Warren’s credibility, Poll Confirms Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test backfired on her, big league and even Nikki Haley used the DNA test as a punch line, Nikki Haley: ‘You wanted an Indian woman, but Elizabeth Warren failed her DNA test’.

The New York Times story mentioned at the top reflects on the damage to Warren, Elizabeth Warren Stands by DNA Test. But Around Her, Worries Abound. The article points out that Warren has damaged her credibility with progressives and actual Native Americans by relying on DNA-based racial theories, and that such a misstep may be so severe she can’t recover:

… nearly two months after Ms. Warren released the test results and drew hostile reactions from prominent tribal leaders, the lingering cloud over her likely presidential campaign has only darkened. Conservatives have continued to ridicule her. More worrisome to supporters of Ms. Warren’s presidential ambitions, she has yet to allay criticism from grass-roots progressive groups, liberal political operatives and other potential 2020 allies who complain that she put too much emphasis on the controversial field of racial science — and, in doing so, played into Mr. Trump’s hands.

Advisers close to Ms. Warren say she has privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with progressive activists, particularly those who are racial minorities. Several outside advisers are even more worried: They say they believe a plan should be made to repair that damage, possibly including a strong statement of apology….

Three people close to senior members of Ms. Warren’s team, who were granted anonymity to speak freely on the issue, said they were “shocked” and “rattled” by the senator’s decision to take the DNA test, which they described as an unequivocal misstep that could have lasting consequences, even on 2020 staffing. One former adviser, who also asked not to be named, called it a “strategic failure” that was “depressing and unforgettable.”

Jennifer Epps-Addison, co-director for the Center for Popular Democracy, a progressive group that has previously been supportive of Ms. Warren, said, “If she wants to be considered the leader of our party or the leader of the progressive movement, she needs a reconciliation.”

Twila Barnes, the actual Cherokee genealogist who has been on Warren’s genealogical case since 2012, is quoted in the Times article:

Twila Barnes, a Cherokee genealogist who has thoroughly tracked Ms. Warren’s claims of native ancestry since it became national news in 2012, said her “jaw was on the floor” when she saw Ms. Warren’s decision to take the DNA test, and the slick video that accompanied the announcement of the results.

Ms. Barnes said Ms. Warren had an opportunity to teach the broader public about how genetic testing has historically been used as a weapon against Native communities, but instead she “helped perpetuate a very dangerous idea.”

It has pushed Ms. Barnes, a self-described liberal, to make something of a personal pledge: She will never vote for Ms. Warren under any circumstance, including in an election against Mr. Trump.

Not even an apology — at this point — would help.

“She’s had six years to apologize,” she said.

Warren may finally “apologize,” but it will contrived by the same political advisers who created the DNA debacle:

Advisers close to Ms. Warren say she has privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with progressive activists, particularly those who are racial minorities. Several outside advisers are even more worried: They say they believe a plan should be made to repair that damage, possibly including a strong statement of apology.

The advisers say Ms. Warren will have to confront the issue again if she announces a presidential campaign, which is expected in the coming weeks, and several would like her to act soon.

This apology strategy misses the point. Warren will not be apologizing for falsely claiming to be Native American, she will apologize for taking the DNA test.

Elizabeth Warren had a chance to apologize for falsely claiming to be Native American to try to advance her career. That time was six years ago when the issue first arose. Instead Warren just kept digging, and now her irrational stubborness is coming back to haunt her.


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I’m 1/8th Cherokee (my paternal grandfather was half Cherokee) but I don’t even pretend to be American Indian, even though I could.

So anyway, I find this whole thing way more than 1/1024th funny. 🙂

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Twanger. | December 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Same for me, not the same tribe though. I never had my hand out, but I did work hard to learn and excel. Even more important is that I infused a love for learning and a good work ethic in my children.

Screech II is 99.91% pure. Ivory soap is 99.44%. According to “racial science”, which is more white?

If she had never lied in the first place would have no problems now.

Comanche Voter | December 6, 2018 at 12:14 pm

As we have always said around the teepee, that Cherokee squaw is not too bright.

Bucky Barkingham | December 6, 2018 at 12:17 pm

It looks like Warren has only a 1/1024 th chance of being the Dem Presidential nominee.

I wouldn’t count Warren out. The Democrat Party is all-in on socialism enacted through toxic identity politics. It does not matter that she is whiter than I am: the MSM/DNC axis is quite good at gaslighting us and convincing us that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east (see the 2018 House elections and the near dozen House seats stolen weeks after voting supposedly ended).

Inside the Democrat Party is an all-out war between the mostly white, old fart Soviet Central Committee (the Clintons, Biden, Pelosi, etc) and the upstart Khmer Rouge (Harris, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez). The latter faction is gaining in power as the Democrat base’s growing thirst for blood – actual blood – cannot be slaked anymore with mere words. Like the rest of the Khmer Rouge Democrats, Warren has been loud and proud with her in-your-face support of domestic terrorist groups (BLM, Antifa). To the genocidal maniacs who make up the Democrat base, that is worth more than any DNA test.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | December 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    BINGO! I haven’t heard the competing factions of the Democrat party explained in those terms. You, however, are spot in.

    Richard Grant in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | December 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    You are getting there.

    You almost see the “final” picture here.

    It isn’t Political. It is Racial.

    It is All Against the White Guy. Whether the Republican Party likes it or not, they will, by default, end up being the “WHITE PARTY” and the Democrat Party will happily and willfully become the “EVERYBODY NOT WHITE AND WE LOVE THAT” Party.

    When a Multi-cultural, Diversity area can no longer use bribes, or violence, to keep the lie going, it always collapses, usually violently. Like Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc. Diversity always ends in violence, unless enough violence is used to keep it going.

    Ate “we” willing to use that level of violence when there are over 300 MILLION guns in this country, most completely unknown and stored in hiding….?

    WE are seeing the violence being played out now with the Never Trump agenda, but it isn’t working. Now you see the division into White-vs-NonWhite groups, and almost now, Presidential Parties based on Race, but very few will admit to it until the shooting starts….then it is too late.

    It is too late to reverse it. We gave it all away in 1965.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | December 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    It is not skin tone that matters, it is intelligence which some groups have in spades and that others sorely lack. Maxine and Hillary come to mind.

Voice_of_Reason | December 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm

democrat 2020 dream ticket would be warren/dolezal: vote for the fake native american and the fake african american!

Voice_of_Reason | December 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm

if a man can “identify” as a woman and compete in sports against natural women, why can’t a woman “identify” as whatever the hell she wants to get affirmative action preferences?

Well, golly wally, that dire report from “America’s newspaper of record” just kind’a suddenly came out of nowhere. Merry Christmas, Liz!

I guess The New York Times has someone else in mind for POTUS 2020 – and with the POTUS 2020 campaign season close at hand The NYT has decided to start picking off undesirable potential DNC nominees now. Hence, they’re starting with the eazy peazy low-hanging fruit first. Ha!

Buh bye, Lizardbreath Fauxcahontas! ¯|_(ツ)_/¯

    Elzorro in reply to FlatFoot. | December 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Trump will be lucky to escape intact.

      Richard Grant in reply to Elzorro. | December 6, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      He already HAS escaped.

      They have found….NOTHING…..let me repeat that, NOTHING on TRUMP.

      2 more years? Go ahead?

      In fact, since he will be President for 6 more years, (With Ivanka as the next, (woman) President of the United States)….let them “investigate” him for not selling Uranium to the Soviets, not having his own private serfer, for not deleting 30,000 emails, or paying Soviet spies to find out who Hilary peed on in the Moscow Hotel room…ok?……..keep it up……6 more years of keeping TRUMP on the front page of EVERY SINGLE NEWS PAPER will boost his followers more and more.

      (If TRUMP got a bunch of hot looking Russian Sparrows to pee on him in the Hotel, then HE BE DA MAN!!!)

      The Democrats are falling right into TRUMPS game. His approval rating, by the way, is not going down, it is going up, especially right now in Paris.

      Viva Le Trump !!!

did anyone check for shrew dna during the test?

say what you want about her “heritage”, but i think most rational people will agree that Fauxcahontas is 1024/1024ths idiot.


My thoughts are that Elizabeth Warren has, after all these years, done a great service to her country! AND, what is the fulcrum upon which this ‘service’ rests? A self-initiated and unforgettable DNA test that proved to be a ‘strategic failure’ and ‘depressing’ for Warren.

The consequences, hopefully, for her political aspirations is the same as if she decided to jump from the heights of the Grand Canyon into a puddle of water. She will be an obscure footnote in ten years. Hopefully she can live a long life, while telling ‘lies’ how she was almost the first elected female POTUS! LOL

Trump has a unique skill of making his opponents look like idiots. Mostly, that’s because they *are* such, and this is a good example.

How in the world could Liz have ever thought getting her DNA tested this way was a good idea? If she had a single wit, she would have picked a loyal staffer to submit the test under her name, used a cash VISA card with the staffer name, and reviewed the results privately before even *thinking* of doing this officially.

    Elzorro in reply to georgfelis. | December 6, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    The idiots will take over the house in Jan. The first thing they will do is file articles of impeachment. That will instantly negate his main weapon. Power of the Pardon.

      Richard Grant in reply to Elzorro. | December 8, 2018 at 10:08 am

      And, TRUMP then releases all the FBI and Justice Department reports that implicate numerous criminal violations of numerous people in the Obama Islamic Criminal Administration.

      Just why do you think TRUMP is holding back? He is the most brilliant, street smart, masculine President we have ever had.

      I feel sorry for anybody so stupid as to go to war against TRUMP.

      Every single person who has attacked TRUMP has lost. Look at the number who are gone. Every single one is kicked in the face. It has been 2 years of frantic digging, with millions spent and 20 Democratic Lawyers looking for ANYTHING, just ANYTHING to “get” TRUMP on…….silence….crickets…….Please, just find ANYTHING……..silence…….

      (Well, they have 6 more years to “investigate” TRUMP getting peed on by hot young blonde Russian babes…..good luck…….hell, what real man hasn’t been peed on by hot young blonde Russian whores…….)

    He makes it look simple – but it actually is. He just has the guts to call out the elephant in the room. Speaking of which, does anyone really believe a million people paid for and read a book ghostwritten for moooochelle obama?

This wretched, lying cretin has about as much charisma as Hillary.

“Lingering Cloud” seems like an appropriate indian name for her.

And for Hillary: “Lingering Clod”.

Richard Grant | December 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm

I had a DNA test done on my, and I discovered, according to the DNA results, I am 50% FEMALE !!!!!!!

It seems I inherited something from my Mom.

I also was told my DNA matches that of the Monkey at 98.6%. So, according to these Scientist, I am more Monkey than I am like my Mom, AND, I am probably more monkey than I am American Indian!!.

Thanks a lot ElizaSquaw Warren !!!

“Fauxahontas/Spartacus 2020 – free firewater and crab cakes for all”

If he nominates Bush Swamp Boy for AG then just write it all off. Try and build your social credit score. It is EZ to do. Dr. Zhivago knows.

BREAKING Cory Booker took a DNA test that revealed he is seven percent Native American.

“It would be like the go- ddamn email scandal”

That “go- ddamn email scandal” was about blatant violations of national security and massive pay-for-play corruption, you stupid partisan hack.

Humphrey's Executor | December 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm

“Careful, don’t step in the hoya.”