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Elizabeth Warren's bad week in Washington

It's hard in the era of Trump to get more attention -- and negative attention -- than the occupant of the Wh...

Posted: Oct 20, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2018 1:58 PM

It's hard in the era of Trump to get more attention -- and negative attention -- than the occupant of the White House. But Elizabeth Warren managed to do just that these past five days.

Warren surprised the political world on Monday when she released a five-plus-minute video that featured her traveling back to her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, to trace her roots.

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(The backstory: Warren got into some political hot water in 2012 when the Boston newspapers reported that she had claimed minority status while a professor at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania law schools. Warren initially denied she had ever informed the schools of her belief that she was of Native American heritage but later admitted she had listed herself as a minority on some federal forms. She also said that she believed that she had Native American heritage, because her mother had aways said she did.)

Back to the video, in which Warren speaks on the phone with a renowned geneticist at Stanford University, who tells her that the results of her DNA test "suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree." The estimates of how much Native American heritage Warren possesses ranged from 1/64th to 1/1024th.

That lack of a conclusive finding was manna from heaven for Republicans -- from President Trump on down -- who savaged Warren as even more of a phony than they thought. "The one good thing about her test is that there was so little she had less than the average American," Trump said to applause and laughter at a rally in Montana on Thursday night. "I used to say I have more Indian blood in me than she does and I have none. I used to say that. And I was right.")

Barbs from Trump, Warren could live with. After all, there's a 0% chance Trump was ever going to lay off his "Pocahontas" attack -- no matter what alleged proof Warren produced of her heritage. The bigger problem for Warren is that, outside of her innermost circle of advisers, Democrats were left cold by her attempt to show that she could shore up her one glaring weakness going into 2020.

"Argue the substance all you want, but why 22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America, why did @SenWarren have to do her announcement now?," asked Jim Messina, former President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign manager. "Why can't Dems ever stay focused???"

Messina was voicing a frustration and bewilderment with Warren that was common in Washington this week. Why now? And why at all, Democrats asked confusedly? Warren didn't have any good answers, ensuring a very, very bad week for her.

The Point: Sometimes trying to get your bad stuff out early -- i.e., before the 2020 cycle starts -- backfires. This is one of those times.

Below, the week in 28 headlines. (For more on Warren's failed DNA gambit, see what I had to say about it on YouTube...)

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 775037

Reported Deaths: 14804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2572716324
Riverside563741143
San Bernardino51467839
Orange513991115
San Diego43619754
Kern31076340
Fresno27381348
Sacramento20961371
Alameda20162365
Santa Clara19891295
San Joaquin19701407
Stanislaus16150325
Contra Costa15544197
Tulare15486255
Ventura12073141
Imperial11457310
San Francisco1056991
San Mateo9332142
Monterey919765
Santa Barbara8785109
Merced8692131
Kings715877
Sonoma6827114
Marin6505111
Solano605455
Madera427058
Placer338541
San Luis Obispo331627
Yolo272153
Butte270433
Santa Cruz21088
Sutter162110
Napa158713
San Benito126010
Yuba11087
El Dorado10544
Mendocino81718
Lassen7300
Shasta66114
Glenn5473
Colusa4996
Nevada4975
Tehama4853
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1590
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 78°
Oroville
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Paradise
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 78°
Chester
Few Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 67°
Red Bluff
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 78°
Willows
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 78°
Much better air quality, elevated fire danger, cooler temperatures, and the potential for showers are all ahead for your Friday. We'll be dry and warmer for your last weekend of the summer season.
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