Elizabeth Warren Just Wants To Know When You Last Took Bankers To Trial
One day before Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s much-anticipated first appearance on the Senate Banking Committee, Politico dedicated an entire article to the low profile the liberal firebrand has kept since winning election, after playing up her national celebrity during her campaign:
Since taking office, Warren has kept the lowest of profiles, speaking only to select Massachusetts media outlets while shutting out the national press save for a smattering of interviews, most notably with the liberal-friendly Huffington Post. For a left-leaning icon and national media darling, the role of silent senator is a sharp departure from her rousing campaign and outspoken consumer advocacy.
But all that changed on Thursday.
Sen. Warren energetically took her place laying into federal banking regulators from multiple agencies, beginning with a simple (rhetorical) question: When is the last time you took a big bank to trial?
Warren knew very well that the answer for most was “never.” She rigorously questioned the logic that settlements offering larger monetary penalties are better in the long run, as they fail to “make an example” of any of the banks or generate “testimony” about their practices. Warren also wondered if the settlements weaken the leverage of the regulators who appear reluctant to go to court.
As Warren points out, she has testified before senators before. Warren would have even testified at that very hearing, had her nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not been blocked by Republicans.
Warren not only made the high-profile interrogation, her office has been proactive about distributing the video on social media. So obviously the “shy” senator isn’t afraid to flex her publicity muscles when necessary.