Little white lies may seem harmless, but in the case of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, her long list of falsehoods are about to capsize her campaign.
The former Native American is in hot water with her brother for spinning a tall tale that her father was a janitor while on the presidential primary campaign trail, a claim he angrily denies.
The Boston Globe ran a report Monday on her three older brothers Don Reed Herring, John Herring, and David Herring, noting “at nearly every campaign stop, she introduces herself to voters by talking about them, weaving folksy family stories with details about their military service, conservative politics, and agreement around her big ideas. Over the past year, they have become a fixture of her pitch, a living link to her upbringing in a financially strained world she says is an indelible part of who she is.”
A family friend told the Globe David objected to Warren calling herself the daughter of a janitor when she talks about her father’s career change after he lost his job as a salesman due to a heart attack.
“My Dad was never a janitor,” Herring reportedly said. He insists their deceased father was a maintenance man, a distinction that he proudly champions.
Warren apparently pushed her father a rung down on the social ladder to embellish her “I’m-Just-Like-One-Of -You” narrative as she campaigns for president. The Massachusetts millionaire has repeatedly been called out by fact checkers for a series of alterations to her personal story.
Warren said in a 2012 speech titled Values and the Economic Crisis: “My father held a series of jobs. His last one was mowing lawns and cleaning swimming pools for an apartment house.” His new janitorial title made its way into her campaign speeches recently.
The ambitious lawmaker has a penchant for dishonesty that keeps catching up with her. She often embellishes her story without remorse as she pursues her career and political goals. She has been a racial shapeshifter, morphing from White to Native American at her convenience.
Warren listed herself as an “American Indian” on a 1986 registration card she filled out for the State Bar of Texas, according to a report from the Washington Post’s Annie Linskey and Amy Gardner in February.
A newly discovered personnel document from the University of Texas shows that Warren listed herself as “White’’ when she taught at the law school there from 1981 to 1991.
When she began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1987, she put herself on the “Minority Law Teacher” list as Native American in the faculty directory of the Association of American Law Schools.
When the Boston Herald questioned Warren about the listing in 2012 she said, “I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, so I stopped checking it off,” she explained.
In 1995, Warren left Penn to join Harvard Law School as a professor. In 1996 she became the highest-paid professor who was not a dean, earning $181,300 per year with a total compensation of $291,876. Harvard Law School at one time promoted Warren in the Harvard Crimson as a Native American faculty member as proof of diversity.
She has been accused of taking advantage of a program at Harvard designed for the descendants of actual enslaved Americans to remedy historical disadvantages.
She has often told a heartwarming story of her parents eloping because her mother was part “Cherokee and Delaware,” and offered a 1984 Indian cookbook Pow Wow Chow, edited by a family member, as proof of her heritage with plagiarized recipes she contributed.
President Trump relentlessly trolled the 99.99% Caucasian senator with the moniker “Pocahontas” until she took a public DNA test in 2018. It revealed that she is only between 1/64 and 1/1,024 Native American, if we can trust her self-reporting.
Warren had overwhelming European ancestry and one Native American ancestor six to 10 generations back. Only then did she relent and apologize for identifying herself as a minority.
In the words of Scottish poet Walter Scott, “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!”
In August she attended a Native American presidential forum in Sioux City, Iowa where she expressed sorrow for the “harm I caused.”
The fibbing has continued unabated, however. At a campaign rally in Atlanta at the historically black Clark Atlanta University in November Warren was confronted by pro-charter school protesters who interrupted her speech, chanting, “Our voice, and our choice.” Her campaign co-chair, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), had to step in to quiet the crowd.
Warren spoke to a protester, Sarah Carpenter of Powerful Parent Network, after the event. “We want the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private school,” Carpenter said.
“No, my children went to public schools,” Warren said.
Her campaign later acknowledged that her daughter Elizabeth went to public school and her son only went to public school until 5th grade, making her ‘technically accurate’.
In October, Warren told a crowd she was fired from her first teaching job in 1971 at the age of 22 when the Riverdale, New Jersey school board saw she was “visibly pregnant,” but records indicate she resigned. Documents from the school system proved she was, in fact, offered another year’s teaching contract which she declined.
Warren insisted in an interview with CBS, “All I know is I was 22 years old, I was six months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job.”
The self-confessed liar has just kept on rolling, playing fast and loose with the English language to evade the truth and spin ‘heart-warming’ stories but voters have wised up to her penchant for prevarications. The senator has survived the rough-and tumble campaign trail, bouncing up and down in the polls while still remaining in the top tier, but her next lie might be her last.