Fine, this is the President talking about Elizabeth Warren. Still, the man's got to introduce her.
From President Obama's prepared remarks:
I have known Elizabeth Warren since law school. She’s a native of Oklahoma. She’s a janitor’s daughter who has become one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class. She has seen financial struggles and foreclosures affect her own family.
Long before this crisis hit, she had written eloquently, passionately, forcefully, about the growing financial pressures on working families and the need to put in place stronger consumer protections. And three years ago she came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle-class families.
Thanks to Elizabeth’s efforts, as well as the dedication and persistence of the person to my right, Secretary of Treasury Geithner, as well as leaders in Congress like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, that agency will soon become a reality.
And we got to hear from Elizabeth Warren herself:
President Obama understands the importance of leveling the playing field again for families and creating protections that work not just for the wealthy or connected, but for every American. The new consumer bureau is based on a pretty simple idea: people ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and know the deal. They shouldn’t learn about an unfair rule or practice only when it bites them—way too late for them to do anything about it. The new law creates a chance to put a tough cop on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market. The time for hiding tricks and traps in the fine print is over. This new bureau is based on the simple idea that if the playing field is level and families can see what’s going on, they will have better tools to make better choices.
This is the best part of Elizabeth Warren taking on the special advisory role. She gets to set up the CFPB. She gets to pick the staff. And because she's not going through Senate confirmation, she gets to start talking to the American people about the CFPB right now, and not go into the cone of silence that apparently Senator Dodd demands.
Liberals seem very happy about even this temporary appointment, because I think they have a better job for her in mind.
Of course, as Ezra Klein says: "things said by Elizabeth Warren tend to be more interesting than things said about Elizabeth Warren."
Elizabeth Warren on Consumer Protection (MMBM) from Roosevelt Institute on Vimeo.
Video taken from the Make Markets Be Markets conference, March 3, 2010, New York City.