A report in the New York Times says that the political stunt involving a DNA analysis has damaged Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) so badly that it is putting her presidential aspirations under threat.
The progressive Democrat was seen by many as a strong contender for the nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in his re-election campaign in 2020, but those hopes might have been dashed to the rocks.
After years of being mocked by many on the right for claiming Native American ancestry, Warren tried to quiet her critics by producing results of a private DNA test.
The biggest target of her political scheme was Trump himself, who had hit her with the nickname "Pocahontas," meant to ridicule her for her claims.
"Goofy Elizabeth Warren," he tweeted in 2016, "sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be a Native American in order to advance her career. Very racist!"
But when the DNA test was scrutinized by critics of the liberal Senator, a new wave of mockery and ridicule struck Warren. Especially damaging was a statement from leaders of the Cherokee Nation that angrily denounced her for using outdated definitions of Native American ancestry.
The report from the New York Times indicated that nearly two months after the debacle, Warren has still not recuperated politically.
Conservatives have continued to ridicule her. More worrisome to supporters of Ms. Warren's presidential ambitions, she has yet to allay criticism from grass-roots progressive groups, liberal political operatives and other potential 2020 allies who complain that she put too much emphasis on the controversial field of racial science — and, in doing so, played into Mr. Trump's hands.
Others believe that her self-defeating action reflects how few minorities are included in the leadership of the Democratic party.
An unnamed former former advisor called the stunt a "strategic failure" that was "depressing and unforgettable."
"People can make of it what they will"
Warren has defended her actions publicly.
"There have been a lot of thoughtful conversations about this, and I appreciate that," Warren said about the issue. "I believe for everyone in public life that transparency is crucial."
"I put it out there," she continued. "It's on the internet for anybody to see. People can make of it what they will."
"I'm going to continue fighting on the issues that brought me to Washington," she concluded.
Here's a video report from the controversy: