September 20th, 2010
Politics is maddening sometimes.
From The White House press briefing of 9/17...
Q Robert, the President said that Elizabeth Warren will play a pivotal role in helping him determine
the best choice for the director of the new consumer protection bureau. Does that rule her out as --
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I think as you have seen from her blog post and from the President’s comments,
the President offered her the very critical and important job of standing up the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau -- something that the President fought for, Secretary Geithner fought extremely hard for
in the financial reform, and based on an idea conceptualized, as we’ve talked about, by Elizabeth Warren.
So she has the critical task of -- because Treasury has under the law the powers to set this up, the
President will nominate a director and Elizabeth will be instrumental in helping the President fill that
Q So she is not a candidate for that position?
MR. GIBBS: Again, she’s going to help the President find new leadership.
Q Could she be a candidate?
MR. GIBBS: Guys, I think her focus right now and I know the President’s focus right now is to get
started on the very critical work of standing this up. This is unlike -- well, unlike any nominee that the
President has made, what he’s nominated her to do was just create it. It needs to stand up in its own
existence; that is, this bureau will pull together functions from seven different departments and agencies
into one to protect the consumers and middle class of this country as the President discussed. The power
to set that up rests in the law with the Secretary of Treasury and with the Department of Treasury, and
that's who she’ll report to.
[A few more followups transpire]
Q Robert, so you’re not ruling her out as a candidate?
MR. GIBBS: I will say this. She is focused on setting this up. I think you heard the President and
I think you’ve heard her over the course of the past many years talk about what would the financial crisis
have been like if when people went to get a mortgage or when people got a credit card, instead of a 30-page
contract that most people -- I guess including myself and many in here -- probably don’t read the whole
thing; a credit card that might -- whose interest rate might explode without you knowing; fine print.
That’s a big task and a big job.
[And a few more...]
Q Okay, and just -- I’ll take a stab again at just her future role. By taking on this current
role, does that preclude her from putting her name in the pool, as it --
MR. GIBBS: Again, I’m just going to -- I’ll repeat that the President will nominate a director and
Elizabeth will be instrumental in picking who that is.
|Date:||September 20th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)|| |
I got used to that fairly quickly when it was my job to listen to this sort of briefing, though it probably helped a lot that I knew these were not representatives of my own government.
On the other hand, if people in the Israeli government could give such eloquent non-answers, it would be a step up.