President Obama said Sunday that he would nominate Richard Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio, to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing over Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who was the driving force behind the agency’s creation.
Was this a decision that “reflects political realities”, as the report says? Well, the report itself refutes that claim:
While Ms. Warren received the brunt of the scrutiny, Wall Street executives also bristled at the selection of Mr. Cordray to lead the bureau’s enforcement team. Seen as a zealous prosecutor of financial crime, Mr. Cordray is a similarly contentious figure among bankers and lobbyists.
Republicans made it clear on Sunday that they were no more likely to confirm Mr. Cordray than Ms. Warren. Forty-four Republican senators have signed a letter saying they would refuse to vote on any nominee to lead the bureau, demanding instead that the agency replace a single leader with a board of directors.
What’s going to happen, then, is no director for the CFPB in any case. But meanwhile Obama has passed up a chance to symbolically align himself with the public and against the banksters.
Now why would he distance himself from his friends?