So The New York Times deems, and so it shall be: It is time to meet Elizabeth Warren:
Among all the dramatis personae of post-financial crisis Washington, there is no one remotely like Ms. Warren, 60, who has divided the town between those who admire her and those who roll their eyes at her ….
…. Ms. Warren has two roles here: officially, as head of Congressional oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and unofficially, as chief conceiver of and booster for a new consumer financial protection agency. Fusing those projects and her academic work, she has become the most prominent consumer advocate in years.
In a blitz of television appearances, she offers a story of how 30 years of deregulation has rewarded the financial industry but led to abusive practices and collapses that have hurt ordinary Americans — the same taxpayers who are paying for bank bailouts.
Ms. Warren’s climactic hour begins now: three years after she hatched the idea for the agency, the White House has backed it, the House of Representatives has approved it and it is a top Democratic priority in the Senate.
Many fans, including Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, hope Ms. Warren will run it. But even if the agency is approved, it might be far weaker than what she envisioned, thanks to fierce opposition from the financial industry.
Her admirers are many, including President Obama and House Financial Services Chairman Rep. Barney Frank. As Jodi Kantor’s story for the NYT hits the newsstands, Professor Warren is already well-known to fans of Bill Maher’s Real Time, on HBO. Her two appearances to date have shown her endearing, such that my first response was like that of a child to a puppy: “Can we keep her?”