Peter Lucas: Unlike Her Ancestry, Warren’s Grand Plan Never in Doubt
I told you so.
That’s what Geoff Diehl should have said.
He should have said, I told you over and over that she would run for president, and now she is, campaigning in Iowa.
He was right. Not that it would have made any difference. Most people who voted to re-elect Elizabeth Warren, 69, to the U.S. Senate over Republican challenger Diehl, 49, in 2018 figured she would be running for president, even if she denied it.
“I’m not running for president. I am not running for president,” she said repeatedly on the campaign trail, without even a nod or a wink, often adding that she would nevertheless take “a hard look” at running after the election.
That was political code to mean that, “You bet, I’m running, but I just can’t say so right now. I have to get re-elected first.”
Meanwhile, Warren all the while was raising her national profile, establishing a national organization, building political IOUs by campaigning for other candidates and raising money for a national campaign.
Diehl was right. She was running for president all the while.
But a lot of good it did him. She handily defeated him. And Diehl, ever the gentleman Republican from Whitman, who never had a chance of defeating her, is too circumspect to complain.
Besides, he is unemployed and looking for a job. And he is not waiting for fellow Republican Gov. Charlie Baker to offer him one. Diehl was just too supportive of Donald Trump for Baker’s taste.
Instead of going sour, Diehl, cleaning out his desk at the Statehouse, where he had served as state representative for eight years, said, “I wish her well.”
“I’m certainly not hoping she wins,” he told the State House News Service, “but I wish her well along the way.”
Warren, the Harvard professor who was not going to run for president, announced her intentions to do so even before she was sworn in to her second six-year term as a U.S. senator.
She did so by forming a presidential exploratory committee in an online video in which she talked more about growing up in Oklahoma than in living in Massachusetts.
It was a move by Warren, a progressive Democrat, to appeal to more moderate voters by partially shedding the “Massachusetts liberal” label that plagued former Massachusetts presidential candidates Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
Warren appears to be in the hands of the political consultants who are attempting to soften and expand her appeal. They are transforming her from an academic elitist and outspoken Harvard professor, who happens to be a millionaire with a million-dollar home in Cambridge, to their vision of an average, beer-drinking American.
“I’m going to get me a beer,” Warren says in her Instagram video, which shows her chugging from a bottle of beer. It is so unnatural and out of character that you cringe watching it.
It also accounts for her little noticed abandonment of her Native American heritage claim following her release of a DNA test that showed she had less Native American ancestry than the average American.
The test was an attempt to respond to critics of her Native American claim. However, the negative blowback from the test was such that Warren’s momentum in early December was halted. President Trump called her Pocahontas.
To recover her momentum in a Dec. 14 commencement speech at Morgan State University, a historically black institution, Warren, who is so blue-eyed and white she could be running for president of Sweden, said, “I am not a person of color.”
If there is voter confusion over Warren’s ancestry it is her own fault. She brought it up in the first place. It may have benefited in her climb up the academic ladder, but it is coming back to haunt her.
It surely will be an issue when she is locked in a debate with other Democrat presidential hopefuls.
Warren could have starred had she run for president in 2016. That ship has sailed. Now she is almost an afterthought.
There are now real progressive Democrat minorities out there who are also running for president, candidates like U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, for instance, or former Obama HUD Secretary Julián Castro. There is even young and charismatic Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the Irish American congressman with the Spanish nickname of “Beto,” who almost unseated GOP U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas.
The story is not Warren running for president. The story is whether she will run for re-election after she loses.
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