I hope she runs Scott Brown’s pickup truck off the road, I’ll root for her all the way, BUT… I won’t forget how Barack Obama turned his back on Elizabeth Warren for her loyalty, not to mention her effectiveness at fighting for the interests of the poor and middle-class:
As she crisscrossed the country, spreading the word about the [Consumer Finance Protection Bureau], Warren became a familiar face… She had gained millions of supporters… She had become like a modern-day Mr. Smith, giving voice to regular citizens astonished at the failure of Washington to protect Main Street – and what increasingly appeared to be its abandonment of middle-class America. By July, the AFL-CIO – speaking for its 12 million members – had called on Obama to name Warren to head the agency. So had scores of consumer groups. Eighty-nine Democrats in the House of Representatives had signed a letter, publicly urging him to choose Warren… By July 18, when Obama announced that he was passing Warren over, he did so after receiving petitions signed by several hundred thousand people and organizations urging him to appoint Warren as the country’s top consumer watchdog.
At the end of his remarks, Obama turned to Warren and kissed her on the cheek. She smiled gamely, though if there are kisses a woman can do without, this was one of them. A Judas kiss, some would say.
At the time of the betrayal, the Daily Kos crowd and other Obama-bots insisted that she didn’t really want the job, that the president had stood up for her, that it was her decision not to go through the arduous process of trying to get Congressional approval. Even Mother Jones suggested that Warren might be too much of a “lightning rod” for GOP opposition; that Richard Cordray, the person Obama picked for the position, would do a good job and would have a better shot at being confirmed.
This was all bullshit. It was Obama caving on a key commitment to the best person for the job and ignoring the wishes of the people who’d elected him. It was Wall Street demonstrating the extent of their influence over him. It was timid Democrats giving Obama his 99th benefit of the doubt.
I’m sure Warren will make a good senator, if such a thing is still possible. But she would have been much more directly effective and valuable as the country’s foremost official consumer advocate.
Too bad she’s not running for president, there would be someone to vote for.
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