No novelist could concoct a believable character to match Elizabeth Warren, the strategist behind the scarily-powerful and unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Democratic candidate for Senate. Professor Warren (she is a professor at Harvard Law School) cannot bear close scrutiny without revealing multi-layered hypocrisy and self-serving behavior. Oh, and a tendency to make herself look worse by taking far too long to confirm embarrassing truths, and looking like a weasel.
Warren is outraising incumbent Scott Brown, and is ahead in the polls. But Massachusetts voters have not yet savored the character of Warren, which embodies many local prejudices against Harvard types, the rich liberals who look down on everybody else. I hope that she continues to be herself and let voters get a sense of who she really is.
Fortunately for connoisseurs of liberal double standards, Howie Carr, Boston Herald columnist and talk radio host, is chronicling Warren's campaign. The entire column is a gem, but here is an excerpt:
It's turning out that she's not quite the working-class heroine her worshipers in the limousine-liberal crowd thought she was.
Last week, news broke that Harvard Law had cited Warren as a minority hire - a Native American - when it was under criticism for lack of faculty diversity in 1996. Asked Friday for proof of her Indian ancestry, Warren's said it's part of her family "lore."
She also said she couldn't "recall" if she'd ever claimed minority status when applying for a job and that she'd never known of Harvard's 1996 boast until Friday. When Brown's campaign demanded that Warren apologize for taking part in a "diversity sham," she said her campaign is searching for "evidence" of her Native American lineage.
When the campaign began, The Boston Globe saluted Warren for her "rise from poverty" as a child in Oklahoma City. Since then, as the truth has trickled out, the narrative has evolved. Goodbye poverty, hello to "the jagged edge of the middle class."
We've learned that, by 1965, Elizabeth's family had three cars, including a white MG that the hard-scrabble Native American drove daily to her tony high school. Still, the Globe insisted, the MG was "beat up."
Last Friday, she released four years of tax returns. Over those four years, Warren and her husband, another Harvard Law prof, averaged $300,000 more than Sen. Brown and his spouse, a TV anchor. In 2009, the Warrens made $981,000 vs. the Browns' $249,000.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky