by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked off her 2020 presidential campaign with a series of awkward gaffes and lingering questions about her alleged Native American ancestry.
The day Warren announced she was launching an exploratory committee for a 2020 bid, she appeared on Instagram Live with her husband, Bruce Mann. In the video, Warren attempts to appear folksy as she tells viewers, “Hold on a sec, I’m gonna get me, um, a beer.”
Warren returns to the frame with a bottled beer and then wraps her entire mouth around the bottle neck as she takes a sip. Her husband declines a beer for himself.
While Warren may have been attempting to be relatable like her young Democratic colleagues — notably Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke — instead the moment lead to mockery and questions about Warren’s “likability.” …
… Also notable are Warren’s relatively low approval ratings — a December Quinnipiac University poll pegged her at only 30 percent favorability.
Warren’s first week on the campaign trail has also been plagued with fallout from her decision in October to release a DNA test showing she is somewhere between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American. The Cherokee Nation immediately slammed Warren for releasing the test, stating, “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”