Monday, October 15, 2018

Sen. Warren--An Honest Reconsideration

I tweeted today that I was surprised by how much difference the DNA results on Sen. Warren made to me.

I'll expand here. 

When Warren was coming into prominence, Megan McArdle had a blog post challenging the validity of her research on bankruptcy caused by ill health and lack of insurance. I think there was some counter from Warren's supporters.  The specifics have long since vanished from memory, but it cast a shadow on my opinion of her.

Then there was the flap about whether her claim of Indian ancestry was correct and what part it played in her academic career.  Again I've seen some back and forth on it.

Then she ran for the Senate and won, 

So early in her political career I had formed an assessment of her as ambitious, smart, more liberal than me.  And, mostly importantly, so ambitious she might have pushed the boundaries of academic research and made unfounded claims to advance in academia. I must also admit to possible chauvinism, though I'd state it as saying her personality struck me as unlikely to appeal to moderate and male voters (so it's their prejudice, I remain innocent. :-0) Taken altogether it made a package I was reluctant to support for the presidency.

But now I know Warren had a solid basis for claiming Native American ancestry.  Somehow that makes me more comfortable with the idea, supported I think by Boston Globe reporting, that she never used the claim to advance in her career.  (Though her employers may have used it in their EEO reporting.) That makes her less ambitious, or at least not breaking rules in her ambition, which makes me more comfortable in supporting her in the future.  (It's possible, even likely, my standards are different for male versus female politicians.)  And there may be a cascading effect--I'm now thinking about her senatorial career and positions more.  And that helps her.

I've tried to be honest with the above.  I don't know enough about Bayesian analysis to apply it to my changing position.

So, my preferred Dem nominee for 2020 is still Klobuchar/Hickenlooper, but if Warren runs and shows up well in trial runs against Trump in the polls, I'll be a more enthusiastic supporter. 

But my bottomline is still: we must win in 2020.

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