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Intense adoration doesn’t generally make a successful politician, a profession requiring a thick skin. Nor does a career split between the DC bureaucracy and the Ivy League, two places where Warren’s hard-left outlook and hard-to-believe narrative went largely unchallenged. While the folksy Oklahoman transplant may have appeared the perfect candidate to her national admirers, the untested candidate that appears perfect usually proves the most imperfect of all. While her opponent has been thoroughly vetted in six terms in the Massachusetts General Court and through his improbable 2010 Senate special election victory, Elizabeth Warren has been thoroughly feted.
Journalists, opposition researchers, and voters had never combed through her background until now. In this crucial period when Bay State voters form first impressions of Warren, the dominant image projected daily is that of a dissembler who scammed her way up the academic ladder by manipulating the ugly labyrinth of unchecked racial boxes and published guides to minority job seekers. The scandal has been amplified by a neophyte’s mistaken belief that stonewalling would make the story disappear rather than stick around. One month into the controversy, Elizabeth Warren’s faux-heritage continues to motivate talk-radio callers to pick up the phone and inspire headline writers to make over-the-top puns on Indian words. The candidate surely can’t survive another month as a punch line.
But Warrenites believe in miracles, like a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pale-faced Cherokee or a mansion-dweller leading a populist crusade. Their candidate is not so much a political figure as a religious one, evoking a revivalist’s response amongst the type of people who mock revivals. Some believe in faith healers raising cripples from wheelchairs; others believe that a graduate of America’s 82nd ranked law school gaining tenure at Harvard Law stems from merit—to each his own superstition.
The faith of The Hill’s Quigley hasn’t been shaken in the least. “I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn’t back down on this, because wanting to be Indian, like [Natty Bumppo’s] Hawkeye, makes us in a deeper sense fully American.”
But the white Mohican Natty Bumppo lived in James Fenimore Cooper’s imagination. Elizabeth Warren, whose followers dream of her in the White House and fantasize the Harvard Yard denizen a populist, lives in imaginations, too.
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