Photo: Getty Images/Alex Wong
Elizabeth Warren won the contest for Massachusetts’ number two Senate seat against Scott Brown last night.So now what?
In her acceptance speech, the outspoken Wall Street critic and mind behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau promised to stay as aggressive as she’s always been.
“This victory belongs to you,” she told a raucous and jam-packed crowd at her headquarters in Boston. “You did this for every family that has been squeezed and hammered. We are going to fight for a level playing field and we are going to put people back to work. To all the small-business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we’re going to hold the big guys accountable.”
Before Wall Street starts tearing out their hair, remember that this is election speak. Sitting in office is a very different thing. The question is, where will Warren focus her energy — what committees?
Politicos Morning Money Ben White did a fly around on that one, and his sources are mixed. A financial industry official told her she was a lock for the Senate Banking committee (Wall Street’s nightmare).
“It’s a blessing and a curse to have Warren in the Senate. Will she be on Banking? Yes. Will she be an irritant to the industry? Absolutely. Will she push the Senate in directions that will be uncomfortable for Harry Reid and Obama? No question. … If you look at 2014, the demography for the Senate Democratic majority is pretty ugly. And Warren will have a big populist following. Could she wind up flipping the Senate to Mitch McConnell? Absolutely. “
Then again, Warren’s background as a law professor makes her a shoe-in the for judiciary committee, points out one Senate observer (from Politico):
“Warren might not get coveted Banking [assignment]. Judiciary is more the plum role. Will allow her to focus on bankruptcy,” this person argued. “I think she wants [Banking] but I don’t think she gets it. Two slots if Tester wins. Coons is one. And I am hearing Gillibrand or Shaheen for the other.”
These are just conjectures right now, though. There’s really nothing Wall Street can do about this one but sit back and watch the show. It should get interesting.
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