Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate

As I mentioned a few days ago, Obama, giving in once again to Republican pressure, has decided with withdraw his support of Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren to be head of the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The good news is, that may not be the last we see of her, though. There is currently a movement afoot to draft the principled corporate watchdog to run for the Senate against Wall Street favorite Scott Brown, who succeeded Ted Kennedy in a surprise 2010 upset. As Steve Benen points out in his Washington Monthly column today, Republicans may soon come to “regret the decision to block her CFPB prospects.” And, the good news is, Warren seems to be considering it.

Some, like Salon’s Steve Kornacki, however, don’t believe she has much of a chance against Scott Brown. Here’s a clip from his opinion piece:

…Democrats like to tell themselves that Brown is beatable simply because Massachusetts has such pronounced Democratic tendencies. Before Brown’s victory last year, no Republican had won a Senate election in the state since 1972, and it’s been 17 years (and counting) since a GOP candidate won a U.S. House race. With the presidential race at the top of the ticket, turnout should be much higher next fall than it was in the January ’10 special election, with the vast majority of those new voters likely supporting Barack Obama. The Democrats’ theory is that this Obama support will trickle down to their Senate candidate, erasing the 5-point margin that Brown won by in ’10 and returning the seat to Democratic hands.

But if it were this easy, why is the party having such trouble attracting a candidate? Gov. Deval Patrick has ruled out running and no one from the all-Democratic congressional delegation is interested. Neither is Marty Meehan, the still-ambitious former congressman who is sitting on a $5 million war chest. Their reluctance speaks to a reality that Democrats don’t like to admit: In his 18 months on the job, Brown has skillfully separated himself from his party’s national brand and emerged as the most popular politician in Massachusetts. It may be true that his simple presence in the Senate serves to empower conservative Republicans who themselves would be intensely unpopular in Massachusetts and that Brown is mostly a reliable Republican vote. But that’s not what most swing voters in Massachusetts apparently see. They like Brown personally, enjoy his style and — thanks to several high-profile and well-timed breaks with the GOP leadership — consider him an independent voice, not a Republican drone…

But, I’d prefer to stay optimistic, and focus on the prospect of Warren in the Senate, fighting against Wall Street on behalf of the rest of us. And, who knows, perhaps we could see her ready for Presidential run by 2016. Here, with more on that, is a clip from an article in The Nation by John Nichols:

…Four years in the Senate could well make Elizabeth Warren a serious contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination—and rightly so. As a senator, she would serve in the independent progressive Wellstone-Feingold style. And that’s almost certainly what Democrats—and Americans—will be looking for after the eight years of Obama or four years of Rombachperrycain.

But even if Warren never goes presidential, she (and those who have been enthusiastic about her potential as a national leader) should consider the Senate. Her election to the chamber would be in the tradition of former Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening, former Oregon Senator Wayne Morse and former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, scholars and presidential appointees whose presence elevated the stature of the Senate and the general quality of the debate in Washington.

It would also be in the tradition of Wellstone, who recognized long ago that Elizabeth Warren would make a exceptional senator…

Wellstone, as Nichols points out, used to joke that he could use 10 more Progressives in the Senate, “or one Elizabeth Warren.”

Here’s hoping she gives it a shot.

[Thanks to Oliva for sharing a good number of these links.]

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  1. Edward
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I’d love to see her run against Bachmann in 2016, if we’re still have elections then.

  2. Meta
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Another good article in The Atlantic on why she might have a shot at beating Brown.


  3. Meta
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    This article from Think Progress is relevant.

    Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) gained infamy in May when he went on a childish tirade against Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is currently setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a special adviser to President Obama. McHenry, a former College Republican hack, repeatedly accused Warren of lying about the agreed-upon time for testimony she gave before Congress.

    According to a ThinkProgress analysis of new campaign finance data released on Friday, McHenry received $63,800 from lobbyists and executives from banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, pawn shop executives, and other predatory lenders in the last three months alone. Notably, much of the campaign donations from payday lenders came on a single day, April 20, 2011


  4. Kim
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I just signed the Draft Warren petition at Daily Kos.

    You can too.


    Now that President Obama has decided to nominate someone else to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are ratcheting up our effort to Draft Elizabeth Warren for US Senate in Massachusetts.

    Massachusetts is one of the top two Democratic pick up opportunities in the Senate next year. That works out pretty well, since Elizabeth Warren is probably one of the top two advocates for the working and middle class in America.

    The more people she sees joining her draft movement, the more likely she is to run. This is a petition where your signature can make a concrete difference. Please, join with 20,000 other members of the Daily Kos community, and sign the petition to draft Elizabeth Warren for Senate.

    Chris Bowers
    Campaign Director, Daily Kos

  5. Glen S.
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    It is important to understand that virtually the ONLY reason the CFPB was created in the first place is because Warren was such an effective, and tireless, advocate regarding the need for an agency devoted to protecting ordinary Americans from the worst examples of dishonest and deceptive practices in the realm of financial services — including unscrupulous mortgage and auto lenders, credit card companies, payday-loan outfits, etc.

    When Republicans (representing their big-business benefactors) realized they could not block the formation of the new agency, they fought hard to water-down the agency’s scope and authority, and, having diminished the new agency’s powers significantly — made clear they would not stand for having Warren lead the CFBP — to the point that some Republicans demonstrated shocking degree of disrespect toward her during recent Congressional hearings.

    If Obama had nominated Warren, the ensuing fight with Republicans to get her confirmed would have provided a fantastic opportunity for President Obama to demonstrate:

    1.) Why the new agency is desperately needed (as if we really need any more examples of why the financial sector needs stricter regulation).

    2.) That he was actually demonstrating a proactive approach to protecting ordinary Americans against the worst excesses of powerful corporate interests.

    3.) Why, as the person most knowledgeable and passionate about its the reasons for its existence, Warren was the ideal person to lead set up and lead the new agency.

    Instead (as usual) Obama caved to Republican pressure — throwing Warren under the bus, missing another fantastic political opportunity, and proving once again to his Democratic “base” that their ideas and opinions really only “matter” when their votes are needed at election time. Otherwise, apparently, we are all just supposed to stay out the of the way, and the let the “grown ups” govern.

  6. K2
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for articulating what I could not, Glen. One can only hope that Warren is able to find another way to influence our national discourse.

  7. Caring Parent
    Posted July 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink


    “Instead (as usual) Obama caved to Republican pressure.”

    I don’t think you’ll disagree with the premise of my question, but did Obama cave to “Republican pressure” or do leading Republicans and Democrats simply jerk to the same pressure? I don’t think he caved to Republicans, I think he, like Republicans, caved to his sponsors.

    A small point, perhaps, but it’s not a difference without distinction.

    I wonder who would fund Warren’s campaign. If we can’t answer that the rest is fantasy. Seriously, where will the millions required for even a modest campaign come from?

  8. Robert
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Brown will lose. There is no way ANY Republican could hold onto that seat. Whoever wins the Democratic primary will get it. It would be great for that person to be Elizabeth Warren.

  9. TaterSalad
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    ……….vote for this loon if you are for communism:

    Obama’s economic advisors (for future references):


  10. Robert
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    TaterSalad, I don’t see any mention of Elizabeth Warren in the page to which you posted the link.

    It doesn’t matter anyway. Democrats could run Joseph Stalin for that seat and beat Brown.

  11. Ronnie Rep
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Hey Tater! What’s up? Make sure you don’t miss this if you care at all about real conservative issues. You’ll love it.

One Trackback

  1. By Alexander 7 on July 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    What make anyone think that Cordray will get the job? If the Republicans got their way with Warren, what makes us think that they’ll stop now? Why would they? I suspect they’ll keep saying no until Obama nominates the head of Bank of America. Mark my words.


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