Is Elizabeth Warren still considering a Senate run? That’s the question pundits are asking as the former de facto head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau returns to Harvard Law School.
According to the Boston Globe, Warren is on Harvard Law’s schedule to teach a course this fall.
Senate Democrats are courting Warren to run against U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, to win back the seat held for many years by Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Hill reports, “some liberal groups have already begun fundraising for her still nonexistent campaign.”
Warren has not publicly ruled out vying for a Senate seat. She said in July that she was taking time off after a year of nonstop work in setting up the CFPB.
In the meantime, former banker Raj Date will continue to serve as special assistant to the Treasury. His previous position as CFPB’s associate director of research, markets and regulation has not yet been filled, according to a CFPB spokesperson. CFPB director nominee Rich Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general, remains the assistant director of enforcement while his nomination for the director position is pending.
Warren’s supporters have criticized the Obama administration for what they consider “caving” to Republican lawmakers and financial services industry lobbyists and not nominating the Harvard professor for the top job. (Many financial services industry veterans, including bankers and trade association leaders, had publicly voiced their support for her.)
In a just-released analysis, the conservative Republican web site Frum Forum made an interesting case in favor of Warren.
“President Obama’s first CFPB head, Elizabeth Warren, has been attacked by some conservatives (and many lobbyists) as a dangerous zealot. … The irony is: Elizabeth Warren was probably a better choice from the conservative point of view,” Frum Forum opined.
The article continued, “The bulk of Elizabeth Warren’s work focused on regulatory solutions to protecting consumers. She certainly will know the empirical evidence indicating the minimal benefits to consumers of litigation. Richard Cordray … approaches questions from the perspective of enforcement in the courts. The literature is clear that the costs of private enforcement are overwhelming borne by shareholders and customers of financial firms and the benefits to consumers are usually nil.”