For a long while now, the hotly contested Senate race between Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has centered around on Warren's claim to Native American heritage -- when and where it was made, what impact it has wrought, et cetera. It was never particularly clear why this controversy's prosecution or resolution would in any way benefit the lives of ordinary Americans, but it was very shiny and the media liked to stare at it, in befuddlement.
As it turns out, Massachusetts voters have essentially put the whole hullabaloo on fade, and are waiting for everyone else to join them in the future. As Josh Lederman of The Hill reports:
A Suffolk University poll released Wednesday showed Brown leading Warren by just 1 point, 48 percent to 47. Although 72 percent said they knew about the controversy, 69 percent said it wasn’t important. Just under half of voters said they believed Warren was telling the truth.
And, during the time that this matter was roiling, Warren "actually gained 8 points in the poll despite the flap over her heritage," the same polling outfit found.
George Will could have benefited from this information, because he clearly misjudged public interest in the matter. He published a whole op-ed about it on Thursday, and it included this paragraph:
So, although no evidence has been found that Warren is part Indian, for years two universities listed her as such. She has identified herself as a minority, as when, signing her name “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee,” she submitted a crab recipe (Oklahoma crabs?) to a supposedly Indian cookbook. This is a political problem.
Lederman gets a quote from Joe Malone, a former Massachusetts treasurer and "major GOP player" in the state, who masterfully conjures the perfect image for this weird state of temporary obsession -- a "gapers block." "This has been like a fender-bender on the side of the road," Malone said. "They’re slowing down to look, but it’s not changing where they’re heading."
HONK, HONK. Come on, George Will, you drive too slowly!
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more