Two fascinating tidbits from this Globe story on the latest in the biggest issue that voters really don’t care about. First, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who has steadfastly refused to endorse Elizabeth Warren and who is generally thought to like Scott Brown, has clearly had enough of the questions about Warren’s heritage.
“I think she has come clean but nobody has let her off the hook,” Menino said. “It’s not relevant at all in the campaign. Let’s talk about the real issues: education, housing, crime. Those are the real issues we should be talking about. This is one of the issues that you [use to] try to divert as a candidate because you can’t deal with the real issues.”
Menino’s comments, which he made just before joining Brown for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Faneuil Hall, are potentially significant because the Democratic mayor has often had kind words for the Republican senator and represents the kind of lunch-bucket values that Brown seeks to embrace.
Of course, Menino is exactly right about this. Warren has said that she bases her claim to Native American ancestry on “family lore.” Maybe the lore is wrong … but even if it is, it’s hard to see how that (a) is Warren’s fault, and (b) has much relevance to which candidate will do a better job in the Senate. And Menino’s final comment – that the heritage issue is the type of thing that a candidate talks about “because you can’t deal with the real issues” is pretty harsh. Brown should be worried about whether he’s really starting to piss Menino off.
Second, check this out, from the same Globe story:
Brown argued that because Harvard counted Warren as a Native American, the university was “potentially hurting other Native Americans who could have potentially gotten those jobs.”
Whoa there! Is Brown seriously suggesting that, having hired one person who it identified as Native American, Harvard would be less likely to hire another one, should a qualified person come along? Does Brown really think that Harvard has a quota for Native Americans, and, having filled it, would slam the door on other Native Americans seeking employment there?
Methinks Senator Brown owes the people of Massachusetts, and Harvard University, at least an explanation as to what he meant, and perhaps an apology. Because that’s a pretty outrageous statement.