Has Elizabeth Warren gone from Fauxcahontas to Don She-xote? One would think that the current political moment, especially on the Left, might give pause to a politician of pallor making a public display of her desire to climb aboard the Democratic ticket. That might be especially true considering Warren’s somewhat nuanced history of claiming minority status to advance her career.
Nevertheless, she persists, and she’s not alone. Today’s Washington Post reports that Warren’s allies have organized a campaign to convince Joe Biden to add the one person to the ticket whose baggage exceeds his own. That includes a few celebrities last seen demanding change under the Black Lives Matter banner:
More than 100 liberal activists, leaders and celebrities signed a letter urging Joe Biden to select Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate, intensifying pressure on the presumptive Democratic nominee from the left as he faces competing demands to pick a black woman.
The letter portrays Warren (D-Mass.) as the best prepared prospect to serve as president and one uniquely capable of helping Biden politically in the November election. It asserts that he is “already strong” among nonwhite voters but could use help winning over disaffected voters who acked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the primary — even as some of them have soured on Warren.
“A crisis election as big as 1932 requires a big running mate. So why not the best?” says the letter, which bears the names of an array of left-leaning figures ranging from actress Jane Fonda to leading activists such as Ady Barkan and Charles Chamberlain.
It adds, “Elizabeth Warren has proven herself most prepared to be President if the occasion arises and deeply expert on the overlapping emergencies now plaguing America — Covid-19, Economic Insecurity, Racial Injustice and Climate Change.”
Ahem. Is this the same woman described by the popular Breakfast Club show as “the original Rachel Dolezal“? Just to recap, Warren spent years claiming Native American heritage without any evidence whatsoever except “family lore,” which wouldn’t have been so objectionable except that she used it to advance her career. After getting called out on it repeatedly, Warren refused to admit she lied, even taking the ultimately disastrous step of a DNA test. Not only do those have notorious issues regarding Native American ancestry, it obliterates the agency tribes have to identify and enroll those with specific Native American genealogy. Warren ended up apologizing for the DNA test and eventually copping to blowing smoke on her heritage all along.
If cultural appropriation and exploiting set-asides meant for the genuinely disadvantaged qualifies one as an expert on “Racial Injustice,” maybe Biden’s better off with the real Rachel Dolezal. At least Dolezal hasn’t lied about where her child went to school, about being fired over a pregnancy, or claimed Bernie Sanders made sexist remarks to her to get her to withdraw from the primary. Dolezal has arguably less baggage — and at least some time running a local chapter of the NAACP.
For both, anyway, it seems like an awkward time for a white woman to demand priority on the running-mate slot over women of color, on the basis of … superiority, shall we say? And according to the Washington Post, Biden’s pool of shortlisted contenders for the slot mainly consists of women of color, although that could change too:
Among the candidates who have progressed to the point of more comprehensive vetting or have the potential to do so are Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), former national security adviser Susan E. Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, all of whom are black. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is white, is also in that group, as is New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is Latina.
The pool of prospects remains fluid, and some close Biden allies suggested other contenders could also face the more intensive vetting process. The people describing the situation spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive private conversations and an evolving search process.
The Biden campaign declined to comment. Biden has vowed to choose a woman, and Biden has repeatedly stressed that he wants a running mate who is “simpatico” with him.
Of all the above, the one most qualified to take over the executive branch is the one with executive experience — Gov. Lujan Grisham. It’s not clear why the celebrities and other allies think Warren’s the most expert at that based on her track record as a law professor and then on two terms in the Senate, but it seems to have the same basis in fact as her expertise on “racial injustice.”
Does Biden want to make himself look “simpatico” with Warren on her Fauxcahontas follies and other baggage? Almost certainly not, especially with his progressive wing demanding a woman of actual color on the ticket. Besides, what does “simpatico” mean in this context? Let’s hope it doesn’t mean this, from Bad Teacher. How much distance will Biden want from Warren? I’d say … a lot-ico.