Elizabeth Warren has been lining up her pieces in the Senate and White House (and even industry) as progressives rally around her candidacy to head the soon-to-be-born Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her biggest opponent, Chris Dodd, has spent the last several weeks whining about her inability to be confirmed. Suddenly, with that line of attack looking less and less salient, he's shifted gears.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd has for weeks called into doubt whether Elizabeth Warren can be confirmed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But for the first time this week, Dodd has called into question whether she's qualified for the job, reversing his earlier position.
"It isn't just a question of being a consumer advocate. I want to see that she can manage something, too," Dodd told the Hartford Courant.
That's a far cry from what he told TPM and other reporters just weeks ago, when his only stated concern, based on his conversations with colleagues, was that Democrats may have a hard time rounding up 60 votes to confirm her.
"She's qualified, no question about that," Dodd said. "The question is whether she's confirmable."
Dodd claims he'll support her if Obama nominates her, but it's clear he's leading the charge for Democrats who don't want to step out on a limb and publicly take her on. He'll be gone from the Senate in January, so he has nothing to lose by carrying water for corporatist, Wall Street-owned Dems. Or maybe his close proximity to Joe Lieberman is rubbing off.
Really, for a guy that could lay claim to a decent legacy in the Senate, he sure is going out as an asshole.
Fact is, if Obama wants to prove that the Financial Reform law is worth a damn, he needs to nominate Warren. And if she runs up against confirmation problems in the GOP-owned Senate (and they do own it, thanks to its broken rules), then he needs to recess appoint her.