Elizabeth Warren Comes Clean

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All you really need to know from The Boston Globe's exhaustive report on Elizabeth Warren's ethnic identity is this: Warren finally admitted she told Harvard and Penn she was of Native American descent.

Aside from Warren's actual admission, what's interesting about Mary Carmichael's and Stephanie Ebbert's story is not Warren's work history, which is laid out in intricate detail, but how the reporters used it to get the Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate to cop to something she'd been denying. After digging through Harvard's archives and finding that the years the university's law school reported a Native American professor (it only had one), corresponded to the years Warren was on the faculty there. Then they brought the papers to the Warren campaign and asked the question again. Pretty simple stuff, all you journalism students, but you have to think to do it.

Warren insisted that her claim had no bearing on her getting hired, but she did offer it as part of her biography, saying, "At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard... My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it."

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Expect this small admission to be used as a cudgel by Sen. Scott Brown all the same, if only because Warren has dodged the question for so long. As Elspeth Reeve noted earlier this month, the trickle of hints that keeps coming out about Warren's heritage has damaged her because it buoys the suggestion that she inappropriately benefitted from affirmative action. Previously, Warren's line until the Globe story was that she only heard Harvard was claiming her as a minority when she read it in The Boston Herald

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.