top of page

Elizabeth Warren, the BoSox Bill Buckner pariah of politics


Elizabeth Warren, who took the puzzling step of announcing her DNA test results showing she was less Native

American than most European Americans, has now come under fire from the Cherokee Nation.

And how rightly so.

Warren has become to politics what Bill Buckner has been to Red Sox fans for decades — a pariah.

Bucker, for those with memories of 1986, became a Boston outcast when he let a dribbler go through his legs at the first base line in Game 6 of the World Series against the New York Mets.


She’s a more recent convert.

Her DNA, as Breitbart noted, showed she could be anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1024 Mexican, Peruvian or Colombian.

Say what?

“Buried in the Boston Globe story [on Warren] is this bombshell: ‘To make up for the dearth of Native American DNA, [the DNA tester] used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American,’” Breitbart wrote.

That’s eye-opening on two counts.

First, as Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. blasted in a widely reported statement: “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA test and its legitimate uses, while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”


But if that weren’t enough to shame, shame, shame the Democratic senator, there’s this, from Harvard University and 23andMe, in a study conducted in 2014: European Americans, on average, test in at 0.18 percent Native American. That means Warren, who tests in between 0.09 percent to 1.5 percent, is less Native American than many other Americans.

Go figure.

But the Warren-Buckner analogy is this: “Former Red Sox Bill Buckner always lives with his World Series error,” wrote the Boston Herald, in May of 2016.

And this: “30 years ago today, Bill Buckner’s error extended the Red Sox curse,” Fox Sports wrote in November 2016.

And this, from a “This Day In History” page of History: “Bucknerlets ground ball roll through his legs: In the wee hours of the morning on October 26, 1986, Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball dribble between his legs and roll down the right-field line. It was just a routine fielding error, but it was a disaster for the Boston Red Sox: It was the 10th inning of the sixth game of the World Series; the game was tied; and, thanks to Buckner’s mistake, the runner on third had time to score, winning the game for the Mets.”

That’s right; Buckner got his own History internet page, his own “day that will live in infamy” moment. Wait for it, wait for it. Warren’s well on her way to the same.

She’s making history with her DNA snafu. And not in a good way. In a Billy Buckner, get out Boston and never return, do not pass go, do not collect $200 kind of way.

Warren’s political future, to put it bluntly, has been affixed with the asterisk of the outcast.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page