Issue: Elizabeth Warren claimed minority status over the years. Was this a truthful claim? Is she a member of the Cherokee Nation? Is she Native American?
Question for Analysis: Did Elizabeth Warren falsely claim minority status about being Native American?
Statement analysis is in bold type:
Reporter: "Are you, in fact a member of a minority group?"
This is a simple, "yes or no" question though it will likely be followed up with "what proof have you offered..." and so on. The unspoken question is about Native American heritage, but the reporter, wisely, asked it in a very general term.
Yes or No questions are the easiest to lie to.
Warren: "So, I, middle class families have been getting hammered. I have been out talking to people about this all across the common wealth. And what they care about are what Washington is going to do about that. My Republican opponent, um, has made it clear what he is going to do. He voted to double the interest rate..."
Please note that Warren did not answer the question, making the question "sensitive"to her. The "rule of three" teaches that if the same question is not answered the first time, ask it again. If it is not answered the second time, and if not answered, ask it a third time because most people will answer it when posed the third time. If the subject does not, the subject is likely to end the interview. Statistically, most will answer the question, repeated identically and without explanation, the third time.
Reporter: "Members of the Cherokee nation want to know. They say you should come clean.
Warren: "I, I have made the facts clear. And what I am trying to do is talk about the facts in this Senate Race. What matters to American families. What matters to the common wealth of Massachusetts. Scott Brown has hammered on my family at the same time that he, now, that middle class families are getting hammered and it is my job in this campaign...
The question is avoided a second time.
Note the repeated or stuttered, "I" in the answer. If Warren is a non-stutterer, this is an indication of an increase in stress or tension.
Note "what matters" if offered in exchange for answering the question.
Note that in "what matters" is specifically not regarding whether or not lying matters, or if falsely claiming heritage to gain advantage matters. The sentence that is not completed means that the subject has stopped the flow of information.
The reporter now asks why:
Reporter: Why did you claim minority status and stop?
Warren: I have told you. I have answered these questions. I am going to talk about what's happening to America's families..."
The question "Are you a member of a minority?" is a sensitive question.
The question about "why" she claimed minority status is sensitive. She does not refute the question "why", which presupposes that the subject did, in fact, claim minority status.
Note communicative language:
"told" and "talk."
Stating that she "told" is strong;
stating that she is going to "talk" is one way: it will not be a question and answer speaking, but she will be the one who does the talking.
There is something within her language, however, that suggests something important:
"these questions" is in the plural. This is indicative of more than just claiming minority status, but of possibly benefiting from it. The reporter was seeking to learn if she lied in order to gain advantage over another person without minority status.
Plural means more than just a single question. How many issues arise from the question of minority status?
Attempt to exploit?
If a candidate lied to gain advantage, does it matter as an important issue to voters? The question is asked in the negative, which shows that it is important to the Interviewer, but it should have not been asked this way:
Reporter: "Don't you think it is an important issue to address?
Warren: "I have talked about these issues that are most important to the families The families themselves have made this clear. I have answered the questions about my background and my family. I am going to talk about the issues..."
Lying causes internal stress. Yes or No questions are the easiest to lie to; yet here, the subject will not even answer "yes or no", making the topic and issues (plural) of claiming and using minority status very sensitive to Elizabeth Warren.
Why would Elizabeth Warren not answer a simple question? Please leave your comments in the comment section. Please choose a name when commenting to avoid the SPAM filter.