Dems say no changing horses now
Despite Warren’s heritage woes ...
By Christine McConville
Monday, May 21, 2012 -
Bay State Democrats are standing by their woman, saying they’re confident in embattled Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren — now three weeks into a persistent scandal over her claims of Native American heritage — though critics say she’ll arrive at her party’s state convention next month battered by it.
“This is a race that is a dead heat,” said state Democratic Party chairman John Walsh, citing a recent poll and insisting the flap has had no effect on Warren’s standing as the party’s front-runner. He said no one is talking about replacing her.“It’s not a sentiment that is out there at all.”
“The Democratic Party is really stuck,” countered University of New Hampshire political science professor Andrew Smith.“They essentially cleared the path for her as a candidate, and they can’t get rid of her now. She could conceivably drop out, but I doubt that will be the case, and I doubt the party will try to push her aside.”
The Warren campaign declined to comment yesterday. Warren has faced mounting criticism about her claims of minority status since they were first reported by the Herald last month. She cites “family lore” but has been unable to prove Cherokee ancestry, making her a butt of jokes nationally. Democrat Marisa DiFranco remains in the race, emboldened in part by Warren’s inability to address the issue.“We need a Democratic nominee who can define herself and not be defined by Scott Brown and the GOP machine,” DiFranco told the Herald yesterday.
Smith and some Democrats say the party can’t switch front-runners now — it’s probably too late for a big name that could attract big money to jump in and gather the 10,000 signatures needed by a June 5 deadline.
“They’re in a tough spot, but there’s not a lot they can do about it,” Smith said.
Warren had $10.9 million as of late March to Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s $15 million.
“There’s no one else who could get that money,” Democratic pundit Lou DiNatale said.“She herself was well known enough to attract that massive amount of money, so no, she’s not going anywhere.”
“Anyone who is talking about someone waiting in the wings to take her place simply doesn’t understand how the process works,” Democratic strategist Michael Goldman said, citing the tight filing deadline.
But GOP strategist Todd Domke said Warren and her backers are fooling themselves if they think the minority issue will go away:“In a future debate, she will be asked this question by a panelist and it will come up and she has no good answer for it, and that will be the problem