Yesterday, in the wake of our reporting that national Democrats were silent on defending Elizabeth Warren over her claims of Native American Heritage, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick rushed to endorse her. It was the latest sign that Democrats are increasingly worried about her campaign.
Even Boston Democrat Mayor Tom Merino saw through the political theater:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino shied away from directly slamming Patrick but expressed distaste for the governor’s pre-convention endorsement, delivered at a 3 p.m. press conference that was announced only at lunchtime.
“This is not the time or the place for endorsements right now,” Menino told the Herald. “We have two Democratic candidates running for U.S. Senate and I’ll see what happens later on.”
The acknowledgement that there is a potential primary opponent to Warren, from a leading state Democrat, is a clear indication that Democrats are looking at other options for the November contest. Democrats meet in their state convention this Saturday. If Warren's presumptive opponent, Marisa DeFranco gets votes from 15% of the delegates, the two will face off in a September primary.
Warren's campaign clearly wanted the Patrick endorsement to distract from the growing controversy surrounding her claims of Native American ancestry when she was a rising academic. The tactic didn't work, as The Boston Globe pressed her on her claims:
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren acknowledged for the first time late Wednesday night that she told Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American, but she continued to insist that race played no role in her recruitment.
“At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’
Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.
When the issue first surfaced last month, Warren said she only learned Harvard was claiming her as a minority when she read it in the Boston Herald.
The Globe is a very liberal paper. But, even liberal papers don't like to be lied to. The Globe complemented their story with an editorial saying that Warren must come clean about the issue at this weekend's convention.
This is the end-game for the Warren campaign. The Boston Globe has turned on her. Boston Mayor Tom Merino is declining to defend her. Yesterday's hastily arranged press conference with Governor Deval Patrick only raised more questions about her ancestry claims. Expect DeFranco to score a big vote this Saturday at the Democrat convention. Also expect the Warren campaign for Senate to become an item of 'family lore' as it fades away.