Uh Oh: Elizabeth Warren’s Past May Catch up to Her

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-WA) has made a name for herself as “strong progressive.” She’s championed traditionally progressive values like gun control, taxing the rich and even forgiving people’s student loan debt. But before Warren was a progressive darling she was actually a registered Republican, POLITICO reported.

For quite a few years, Warren was a registered Republican in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. It wasn’t until she was 47 years old and a Harvard professor that she suddenly changed parties. . .

Warren has acknowledged her Republican past before, but she does not often discuss it, or else downplays it. In a recent interview over tea at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she said she assumes the first time she registered as a Democrat was 1996, but added, “I’m not even 100 percent sure what I was registered as.” According to Warren, in the six presidential elections she voted in before 1996, she cast her ballot for just one GOP nominee, Gerald Ford in 1976. She does not talk about her Republican past in either of her books or as part of the biography she recounts in her stump speech; the information often comes as a surprise even to Beltway politicos and longtime Warren allies.

“I was just never very political,” is how Warren explains her Republican years. “I just never thought much about the political end.”

Some on the left have already pointed out the less-than-progressive stances in her 2003 book, The Two Income Trap, including the rejection of a “quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model.” But a review of Warren’s early scholarship and interviews with more than 20 friends and colleagues from her high school years through her academic career reveal a longer conservative track record that has not been fully explored. Warren’s conservatism centered not on social issues like abortion or gay rights, friends say, but on economic policy, the dominant focus of her academic work and now her presidential candidacy.

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