Did Elizabeth Warren cook up her ancestry?

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is a tireless warrior for the consumer. But a Cherokee warrior? Image: mdfriendofhillary/Flickr/CC BY-SA

For those of you who believe that the financial services industry deserves a little more scrutiny and a shorter leash after leading the economy into the Great Recession and its subsequent downturn, Elizabeth Warren might be a hero. She did, after will, work tirelessly for a year to establish and organize the much-needed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, knowing full well that President Obama had no intention of recommending her to run it. Obama said, quite frankly, that she would not pass the approval of the Republican-controlled Congress, which has done whatever it can to block his administration. And he was undoubtedly right.

Getting political

It is because I have admired this intelligent woman, whose efforts have always been unashamedly slanted in favor of the consumer, that this story is so disheartening. Now that she is running for the Massachusetts Senate, Warren seems to have suddenly become a “politician.”

For weeks now she has been asserting her Native American heritage, with little to back it up except for handed-down family stories. She has said:

“These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad.”

Warren’s desperate efforts to align with a minority has really tested my respect for her. Sadly, last week, Tea Party advocate Michael Patrick Leahy’s blog revealed some further detail in the saga that has tested it yet further. And the fact that I am forced to side with a Tea Party blogger makes it all the sadder.

Leahy wrote:

“The credibility of Massachusetts Democratic  Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took another hit today as Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm Ms. Warren may have plagiarized at least three of the five recipes she submitted to the 1984 ‘Pow Wow Chow’ cookbook, edited by her cousin Candy Rowsey.


“The two recipes, ‘Cold Omelets with Crab Meat’ and ‘Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing,’ appear in an article titled ‘Cold Omelets with Crab Meat,’ written by Pierre Franey of the New York Times News Service that was published in the August 22, 1979 edition of the Virgin Islands Daily News, a copy of which can be seen here.


“Mrs. Warren’s 1984 recipe for Cold Omelets with Crab Meat contains all four of the ingredients listed in Mr. Franey’s 1979 recipe in the exact same portion but lists five additional ingredients. More significantly, her instructions are virtually a word for word copy of Mr. Franey’s instructions from this 1979 article. Both instructions specify the use of a ‘seven inch Teflon pan.’


“The third potentially plagiarized recipe, ‘Herbed Tomatoes,’ appears to be copied from this 1959 recipe from Better Homes and Garden.”

Campaign rhetoric

To be fair, I have no way of knowing if Warren is part Cherokee, as she claims, or not. But if looks are any indication, her percentage of Cherokee blood must be minor at best. Her use of the claim on the campaign trail seems exaggerated, at the very least.

Campaign rhetoric seems to make fools of the wisest and the brightest. One must ultimately question an electoral system that inspires such nonsense. But that doesn’t absolve a tasteless and pandering move on the part of Ms. Warren.


The Atlantic



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