The Globe’s website has this mysterious blog-like thing called “The Angle,” in which Jesse Singal and Rob Anderson write about “stories worth talking about.” I don’t really know what that means, or who Singal and Anderson are, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, Anderson has an intriguing post entitled “Five reasons Elizabeth Warren should challenge Scott Brown.” We’ve been over this a bit already (in fact, Anderson kindly links to BMG’s very interesting discussion). I said on that thread that I found the idea of a Warren candidacy extremely interesting. To me, the most compelling argument the other way was this one:
She’s a pioneer in government and I think she’s going to be able to do more from where she’s at than if she were to run for Senate and be 1 of 100 voices in a very flawed system.
I think that’s correct. If she gets to run the Consumer Protection Agency (remember, she is not its head right now, since it doesn’t actually exist yet – she’s in a specially-created “assistant to the President” job to get it set up), she should do that.
However, as Anderson points out today,
Warren’s role guiding the Consumer Financial Protection Agency into existence will end this July, when the agency is expected officially launch. Unless Obama picks Warren to stay on as the head of the CFPA, a move that is increasingly seen as unlikely, she will be free to start campaigning by the early summer. That would still give her enough time to launch an outsider’s campaign, especially if none of the declared candidates is eliciting much excitement.
Now, clearly, Obama should pick Warren to actually run the agency, and I don’t know what Anderson’s basis is for saying that her appointment looks “increasingly unlikely.” (UPDATE: via Twitter, Anderson referred me to these two articles, both of which do suggest that a permanent appointment is unlikely.) Furthermore, if the Democrats actually manage to implement a sensible filibuster reform within the next few days, she would be confirmed without much fuss.
But if he doesn’t, or if they don’t, there’s a potential problem with her taking over the agency. And, while that would be a big loss, it would also represent a real opportunity for her to think about running. On that score, I reiterate the point I made before, which is that Warren could raise a lot of money really fast. She is plugged into the highest level of the Democratic party infrastructure. Frankly, I think her fundraising potential is as good as or better than any other candidate mentioned so far (although, obviously, she starts from zero, whereas current and former Congressmen have active campaign accounts).
So, keep your eye on this one as we move forward. First choice: she runs the Consumer Protection Agency. Second, for me, is that she runs for Senate.