Donald Trump has been among the least transparent presidential candidates that the United States has seen in decades, famously breaking with 40 years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns to the public eye during his presidential bid. Trump also dictated a memo to his doctor and held an interview with television physician Dr. Oz, rather than share health records. Even as he was placed in power, Trump has maintained a veil over his business.
Now it seems that one potential opponent for the 2020 election, Elizabeth Warren, is seeking to turn one of Trump’s go-to strategies into fodder. After undergoing a DNA test to prove to Trump, often known to mockingly call her “Pocahontas,” that she had never lied about having Native American heritage in response to baseless claims that Warren had tried to enter higher education as a minority.
This DNA test is not the first move Warren has made toward clarity. After years of waving away Capitol Hill’s reporters in the hallways of government, Warren has welcomed their inquiries. Warren expressed a need to keep all members of government open to the public it serves so that errant representatives can be held accountable.
Warren has also welcomed a lengthy interview with the Boston Globe after it analyzed countless documents, interviewed 31 professors and disclosed 12 personnel forms connected to Warren’s time at Harvard University and other esteemed colleges. The Globe refuted the claim that Warren had ever sought preferential treatment because of American Indian ancestry. August saw Warren upload a decade’s worth of tax returns from the state and federal levels online, spurred on by Trump’s refusal to do so.
Warren’s stance on transparency may also be a lesson learned from the Clinton campaign. While Clinton obeyed election traditions, some still wanted further transparency to be present throughout her campaign. The detail of her medical records paled in comparison to John McCain’s 2008 campaign and she declined to release transcripts from speeches made at Goldman Sachs or answer questions about the Clinton Foundation. Even though Clinton was far more transparent than Trump, many still questioned her transparency during the much spoken issue of a private email server.