Elizabeth Warren in 1996: I want to ‘win a contest that has nothing to do with brains’

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Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who has made her stated desire for a “level playing field” the cornerstone of her Senatorial campaign, once said she longed to win a contest on the basis of her beauty, physical attributes, and other criteria “unrelated to smarts” — including “knowing someone who can fix the outcome.”

In what may have been a botched attempt at humor, Warren, then a tenured Harvard Law School professor, answered a question put to her for the “Spotlight,” a 1996 Harvard Law School yearbook feature designed to profile a professor in greater depth.

“What is the one thing you have never done but always hoped to do?” the unnamed interviewer asked.

“Win a contest that has nothing to do with brains,” Warren responded. “I want to win something because of beauty, luck, physical skills, height, knowing someone who can fix the outcome — something unrelated to smarts.”

Warren’s campaign has made her belief in “opportunity” and a level-playing field central to her candidacy. Spokeswoman Julie Edwards, for instance, told Politico in July that focusing on opportunities for disadvantaged Americans “has been her life’s work. What worries her is that right now we have a rigged system in Washington, DC that benefits the big guys at the expense of everyone else.” (RELATED: Complete coverage of Elizabeth Warren)

“I want there to be a level playing field,” Warren said in an October 2011 television ad. “I want small business and I want families to have a real chance.”

In March 2011, then a nominee to officially head the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren said she would create a “level playing field.”

“I just want a level playing field. I really do,” she told Rachel Maddow in June 2009 as she made the case for an upswing in financial regulations. (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren says family was middle class because they spoke ‘good English’)

And in her Charlotte speech to the DNC on Sept. 5, she promoted that level-playing-field concept once more.

“We’re Americans. We celebrate success. We just don’t want the game to be rigged,” she said.

“We’ve fought to level the playing field before. … Americans are fighters. We are tough, resourceful and creative.”

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