Elizabeth Warren: Cocktail Chatter

Jeanne Sager

Elizabeth WarrenEvery week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: Elizabeth Warren.

Who She Is: Warren has been considered the lead nominee to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by Congress to watch over Wall Street, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is rumored to be blocking her nomination.

Why She's Qualified:

  • She's been chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the U.S. banking bailout.
  • She helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • A Harvard law professor, she specialized in bankruptcy law.
  • A lawyer, her name was bandied about as a possible Supreme Court nominee before Elena Kagan got the nod.

Strikes Against Her:

  • She's got a folksy way of speaking that sounds more like her Oklahoma Sunday School teacher roots than Washington would like.
  • Geithner likes Michael Barr, the assistant treasury secretary for financial institutions, and Gene Kimmelman, chief counsel for competition policy in the Justice Department's antitrust division
  • Wall Street doesn't like her -- they see other names put up for the job as a bit more sympathetic

Phrases to Drop:

"Geithner has praised Warren for her work, but he still says he doesn't 'agree with all the conclusions she reaches.'"

"Senator Chris Dodd doesn't think she's confirmable as head of the bureau."

"Warren actually used the words dang gummit in an interview with The New York Times."

"Warren got Ron Howard to help make a video convincing the Obama administration to create the consumer agency."

Think she deserves the job? Sign the Credo petition.


Image via david_shankbone/Flickr

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