Catanese: Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren Can’t Dismiss Trump’s ‘Phony Native Heritage’ Accusation in 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2015, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. gestures before speaking at the National Press Club in Washington.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

David Catanese writes in U.S. News & World Report that when President Trump once again derisively nicknamed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Pocahontas,” he ripped open an old campaign controversy that “even some Democrats say she mishandled during her 2012 campaign.”

If Warren intends to challenge Trump in 2020, Catanese writes that she must come up with a “pithier, clear-throated response” to his accusations that she claimed a “phony Native American heritage” to give herself an edge in winning her Harvard Law School professorship.

These accusations, Catanese explains, are not without merit and make one wonder “why she suddenly identified as Native American at Harvard, but not during earlier points in her career as a professor and student.”

From Catanese column:

While they didn’t call her “Pocahontas” in 2012, Republicans seized on a report during her first campaign that Warren listed herself as Native American at Harvard Law School, raising questions of whether she claimed minority status in order to gain an advantage in attaining an Ivy League professorship. A Fordham Law Review piece later described her as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color.”

Slow to respond and lacking any tangible proof of her heritage, Warren relied on anecdotal stories within her family, noting her grandfather’s “high cheekbones.”

The New England Historical Genealogical Society, which originally said there was evidence Warren was 1/32 American Indian, later recanted the claim.

“We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren’s great great great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent,” the group’s spokesman said.

Read the rest here.

 

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