Senator Elizabeth Warren Builds Her Dubious Brand [Opinion]

Elizabeth Warren Raises Her Profile
Susan Walsh / AP Images

Last Monday, the White House held an event in honor of the Navajo code talkers. During the ceremony, President Trump, in a derisive reference to Senator Warren, used his nickname for her, “Pocahontas.” Attendees at the event did not react to the remark, and Trump offered no further jab. The incident, however, provided numerous headlines. As for Warren, she gave an interview to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, in which she expressed her shock and dismay at the president’s comment. Since then, she has capitalized on this to add to her already impressive war chest, but in view of the controversy that still surrounds her claim of possessing Indian heritage, some questioned the appropriateness of her fundraising strategy. Even more important, people have started to note that Elizabeth Warren is more than just a politician. She is a brand.

From 1986 until 1995, Warren listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools directory. She claimed that she possessed Indian heritage, Cherokee and Delaware. In the 1990s, officials at Harvard Law School where Warren was a tenured law professor pointed to her as an example of their commitment to diversity, but questions arose about her claim during her 2012 senatorial bid. It was revealed that she based her claim solely on family lore. So, Warren was accused of being dishonest in an effort to advance her academic career. Nevertheless, she maintained her story. Further, she strenuously denied receiving any advantage during the hiring process. Notwithstanding all of this, a cloud has continued to hang over the senator. Many believe that she has not been entirely truthful, if at all.

The doubt of others, however, did not deter her from expressing her discontent, as aforementioned, about the remark that President Trump made at her expense. Throughout her interview with Ali Velshi, she was, at different turns, aggrieved, indignant, and even defiant. Her performance was absolute.

Not content to deliver a tour de force only, Senator Warren also decided, rather shamelessly, to raise money from the incident.

For those that have been following Warren carefully, this has not been a surprise though. They have become inured to her attention-grabbing conduct. As an example of this behavior, rather than release a statement to voice her disapproval of the Republican tax bill, Elizabeth Warren made an over-the-top video.

To maximize the benefit of this constant stream of activity, Warren has an online campaign store, which allows her supporters to buy products. Her every turn in the limelight hints at a possible new hat, tattoo, or other item that permits people to patronize Lizzie Inc. All of this has translated into an angry, collective pumping of the fist at Republicans that have been reduced to villainous caricatures, both necessarily and categorically.

Senator Elizabeth Warren listens during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Susan Walsh / AP Images

Undoubtedly, Senator Warren represents a new phenomenon in the political world. She is more a product than an elected official. Consequently, she changes and shifts positions to satisfy the demands of her consumers, but she has built her empire on dubious claims and indecorous antics. Nonetheless, Warren’s success in politics makes sense in the age of social media where the value of words and actions are often determined by the number of likes and retweets.

Yet, Senator Warren’s constituents still deserve more. In truth, the focus should be on them and their needs, rather than Warren herself and her fandangos.