I was just watching Joe Rogan video where he made the case that the Pocahontas stuff basically ruled out Elizabeth Warren as a real contender for the Presidency. A hard look at the question tells us that she believed that her native heritage was true and wrote it down on the basis that she trusted what her family had told her, back in the 70s, or event this was, and she was a teenager.
Rogan, as best I can tell from a few YouTube videos, is a reasonable, centrist sort of dude. He is probably relatively representative of your average quasi-informed swing voter. He’s not going to look into things deeply, he’s just going to check if the accusation is true and not look any further.
And it’s fair to say that, the way people look at the world, it’s just as much how you handle people as what you say. Warren hasn’t handled the issue well. She didn’t get tested or ignore Trump or say, yes I’m retrospect that was probably stupid, instead she’s handled him poorly. And Trump is not the only asshole in the world, so if we’re asking whether she can deal with a whole world of assholes, then the answer is no.
Childish or not, if no one can show Trump as the idiot that he is, they’re liable to lose to him. Treating him like a real person is an instant loser. It’s how the media gave him billions of dollars of free advertising.
The people like a winner. Watch sports, it’s all dude’s who do drugs, cheat on their wives, and get into trouble. But, if they win, they’re heroes. So long as Trump wins, it doesn’t matter what tactics he uses. You need to be able to get on top and pound him down. Only if you can do that will you win in the minds of 50% of the country.