I just got off a “blogger call” with Elizabeth Warren, who President Obama just appointed as a Special Assistant in charge of setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I was able to ask her a question, and asked, “You are about to go up against the most powerful lobbyists in the country. What will your reaction be if the new consumer bureau is turning in the wrong directions. She gave this reassuring reply:
“I will have a strong ally in the President of the United States. I’m not there on my own, I’m there with him. I met alone with the President for more than an hour a couple of weeks ago just to talk about these issues. This is central, we’re going to make this work because it is important to the President, his team, Secretary Geithner, the lobbies are powerful but I have to remind you everyone told me a year ago that this is a pipedream, that you can’t do it, and I was told over and over the lobbyists are too powerful and they will never let it happen, but here we are today. So if you are willing to fight back on behalf of middle class families that adds a certain power to what you are doing.”
This is good news. Others will be writing about the call. Zach Carter wrote here the other day, in Is Elizabeth Warren’s New Job A Blessing Or A Curse?,
There’s no middle ground on this move. Obama is either getting creative and going to the mat for Warren, making a strong policy pick and a grand gesture of his seriousness about financial reform– or he’s trying to throw Warren under the bus without enraging reformers before the election. And for now, the White House still isn’t talking.
Well Warren is talking now, and it looks really good.
Update – Richard (RJ) Eskow has posted with many more details: Warren Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning: Elizabeth W. And The Bloggers