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Elizabeth Warren to fight on

July 18, 2011 - Mike Maneval
As reported in Monday's Sun-Gazette, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's first nominee for director has been selected ... and it's not Elizabeth Warren, the financial law professor at Harvard who pioneered the concept of the agency. Instead, the White House selected former Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray.

A co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Stephanie Taylor, said Cordray has been a "strong ally" of Warren's, but that "Warren was the best qualified to lead this bureau that she conceived." Consumer advocate Ralph Nader was more pugnacious in his assessment of the choice, calling President Barack Obama's decision to pass over Warren as "an act of political cowardliness." Representatives of the AFL-CIO also shared with Mother Jones magazine what they described as "disappointment" in Warren's snub.

Many of her fans within the liberal and progressive movements, as acknowledged by Mother Jones' David Corn, now hope Warren will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown. CBS News reports that the Massachusetts Democratic Party has encouraged her to consider candidacy, as have pundits John Nichols of The Nation and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.

In a Monday column for Huffington Post's business section, Warren herself graciously praised Cordray as a "strong leader" who fights for families, who is smart, tough and "will make a stellar director." But then in describing the mission of the new office, in all likelihood inadvertantly, she displayed the acumen that had so many hopeful she would be entrusted to supervise the fledgling bureau, upstaging him while vowing to continue her work for consumer rights.

"Prices and risks should be clear," she said in her Huffington Post commentary. "People should be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons. Fine print should be mowed down, not used to hide nasty surprises. And, everyone - even trillion dollar banks - should follow the law ... Today, I'm celebrating - but I'm not taking my eye off those who want to cripple this agency."

 
 

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