DNA be­comes Liz’s un­do­ing

Even an apol­ogy now is too late

Boston Herald - - NEWS - Joe BATTENFELD

Elizabeth War­ren’s pres­i­den­tial dreams are im­plod­ing and it may be too late to undo the dam­age.

The Mas­sachusetts sen­a­tor flunked her DNA test and now is re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing an apol­ogy to Na­tive Amer­i­cans. But it won’t work.

War­ren doesn’t need to say she’s sorry for tak­ing the test — she needs to fully come clean about why she listed her­self as a mi­nor­ity all those years in law school.

A sim­ple “I shouldn’t have done it” will do it. But even in the un­likely event of apol­o­giz­ing for pre­tend­ing to be a Na­tive Amer­i­can, War­ren won’t shake off the stench of this mis­take.

The Chero­kee tribe, which blasted War­ren when the test came out, won’t for­get. Even the liberal New York Times is now pan­ning War­ren for tak­ing the test, which con­cluded that at most she is 1/64th Na­tive Amer­i­can. CNN is call­ing it a “de­ba­cle.”

How do you think other racial mi­nor­ity groups are go­ing to re­act when War­ren comes around look­ing for their sup­port for a 2020 bid? Es­pe­cially with Sens.

Cory Booker and Ka­mala Harris in the race.

And donors may even shy away from giv­ing War­ren money if they think she’ll be a loser. Polls show that War­ren has slipped to the sec­ond tier of con­tenders, be­hind for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den, Sen. Bernie San­ders and failed Se­nate can­di­date Beto O’Rourke. She’s no longer the shin­ing star of the Demo­cratic liberal wing. She’s tainted.

War­ren’s DNA test now oc­cu­pies a cen­tral role in her cam­paign, whether she likes it or not.

Ac­cord­ing to the Times, War­ren has even ex­pressed con­cern that she’s done last­ing dam­age to her im­age, es­pe­cially among Na­tive Amer­i­cans. It’s long been as­sumed she is run­ning for pres­i­dent — based on all the steps she’s taken to pre­pare for the cam­paign — but that path now looks less cer­tain.

She could pull a De­val Pa­trick and bow out, cit­ing the blow­back her fam­ily could get in the heat of a cam­paign.

But in re­al­ity, the only way War­ren won’t run is if she con­cludes she can’t win. And that starts with the DNA fiasco.

If War­ren de­cides she will never get rid of the Na­tive Amer­i­can is­sue, even with a strong apol­ogy, it’s likely she will find a way to shelve her White House as­pi­ra­tions. She wouldn’t be the first would-be can­di­date to pull out early be­cause of a dam­ag­ing per­sonal is­sue.

AP FILE PHO­TOS

LAST­ING DAM­AGE: U.S. Sens. Elizabeth War­ren and Bernie San­ders un­veil their Medi­care for All leg­is­la­tion in 2017; War­ren, be­low left and right, speaks about her for­eign pol­icy vi­sion last month at the Amer­i­can Univer­sity Wash­ing­ton Col­lege of Law in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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