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December 6, 2018

ELIZABETH WARREN’S DNA DEBACLE: “The plan was straightforward: After years of being challenged by President Trump and others about a decades-old claim of Native American ancestry, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would take a DNA test to prove her stated family origins in the Cherokee and Delaware tribes. But nearly two months after Ms. Warren released the test results and drew hostile reactions from prominent tribal leaders, the lingering cloud over her likely presidential campaign has only darkened. Conservatives have continued to ridicule her. More worrisome to supporters of Ms. Warren’s presidential ambitions, she has yet to allay criticism from grass-roots progressive groups, liberal political operatives and other potential 2020 allies who complain that she put too much emphasis on the controversial field of racial science — and, in doing so, played into Mr. Trump’s hands.”

People play into his hands a lot, I notice. But she could have squelched this back when it first came up, saying that she thought she was part Cherokee based on family lore, but that it might be wrong. Lots of “family lore” tells people that they’re part Indian, and it’s often wrong. It was her refusal to climb down — and even her absurd presentation of the DNA test as some sort of vindication — that got her into this situation.