Obama to pick Cordray for CFPB post; Update: Tapper confirms Cordray pick

posted at 11:30 am on July 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Bloomberg reported, in what now looks like a Friday night news dump, that Elizabeth Warren’s nomination to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be withdrawn, in a single-sourced story.  The Washington Post likewise yesterday ran a single-sourced story that essentially covered the same ground as Bloomberg, right down to the suggestion that Warren deputy Raj Date would get the nod.  Today, however, Reuters reports that Obama will announce the nomination of a former Ohio Attorney General to take the top CFPB spot:

President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new consumer financial watchdog agency, a White House official said.

Cordray served two years as AG, exiting the office in January.  Earlier this year, Warren picked Cordray to be the CFPB’s chief enforcement officer.  It doesn’t look like the antipathy for the private sector will diminish much in the exchange:

Just months ago, Richard Cordray was Ohio’s attorney general. In that role, he sued some of the nation’s largest banks for their bungling of mortgage foreclosures, spoke of Wall Street as a “fixed casino” and became a leading advocate for the creation of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Today, he is the chief enforcement officer for the fledgling watchdog. When the bureau officially opens this summer, Cordray will head a federal team with wide authority to write and enforce rules that will govern many of the firms that he butted heads with as a state official.

Now he’ll have even wider authority to write his own rules and enforce them as CFPB chair.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa, has already had its hands full with Warren, and I’d guess that they’ll have their hands full with Cordray.

One has to assume that the White House thinks Cordray will have an easier time getting confirmed than Warren, whose brief tenure in the administration had already provoked Congressional ire.  As a former AG, Republicans in the Senate will have a tougher time arguing that he lacks executive qualifications, although he only lasted two years in the job.  They may get more traction with Cordray’s announcement that he wants to run for state office again in 2014 with an argument that Cordray will attempt to politicize regulation and enforcement to benefit his political future.

Warren indeed looks like she’s out, but the direction she took the CFPB doesn’t appear to have changed.

Update: Finally, Jake Tapper gets multiple sources to confirm the switchout:

White House officials say that on Monday President Obama will nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he currently serves as director of enforcement.

The selection is a slight to Elizabeth Warren, who first proposed and has helped create the agency. But Warren’s nomination would have been challenged in the Senate.

Score one for Bloomberg.  Also, I’m pretty sure that the White House didn’t want to see a headline accusing them of “bypassing woman who first came up with the idea.”

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As various left blogs have already pointed out Warren is likely to try to take a run in a Senate Race against Brown in Mass.

CommentGuy on July 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Trading one commie for another. Same crap, different day.

Off topic a bit, but I read this, and thought it worth the read, for anyone who’d care to read it. :)

I am not alone. Since the takeover of the DNC by Obama and his minions on May 31, 2008, millions of independents and Democrats have lifted up the rock of so-called liberalism and seen the sludge and slime underneath. The left’s class warfare/racial rhetoric is a masterful lie, a ruse, a con job, a ruling class ploy to amass followers, using them to promote an agenda that will eventually do them in.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/would_hillary_have_been_better_than_obama.html

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Warren indeed looks like she’s out, but the direction she took the CFPB doesn’t appear to have changed.

I believe poster rockmom noted a while back that Warren had supervised the staffing of the CFPB with people of the same mind as her. Just because she doesn’t get to head the agency doesn’t mean her philsophy won’t be running it.

And IIRC, the bureau is funded through assessments on the regulated financial institutions, not congressional appropriations, so the GOP in the Congress will have little control over what it does.

Wethal on July 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Agree CJ, SSDD

Thanks for the linky

cmsinaz on July 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

spoke of Wall Street as a “fixed casino”

He’s not wrong when he says that. Problem is, the people doing the “fixing” to rig the game are people like Obama-appointee Turbo Timmy Geithner and Obama top-donor Goldman Sachs.

AZCoyote on July 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM

As various left blogs have already pointed out Warren is likely to try to take a run in a Senate Race against Brown in Mass.

CommentGuy on July 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Which could get interesting, as Brown provided the 60th vote for cloture on Dodd-Frank. So when she touts CFPB, he can say, “So what? I voted for it.”

As annoying a RINO as Brown is, he could at least keep the “Kennedy seat” in GOP hands, which should tick off the MA Dems to no end.

(OT trivia: Mitch McConnell now has Swimmer’s grand old office. It was the second fanciest office in the senate-complete with balcony, but instead of giving it to the minority leader, Teddy got it a while back. Brown had to vacate when they all switched around with the new senate in 1/11.)

Wethal on July 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Attack him as an ideologue…it’d be true.

cartooner on July 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The democratic party has been taken over by the progressives, a cutesy poll-tested synonym for communists. They are no longer ‘liberal’ by the traditional small-l definition. This is not your father’s democratic party.

Hillary is as much a prog as little Bammie. She’s smarter than little Bammie, but the intelligence of both of them is highly overrated. She would have the same goals as little Bammie, perhaps only moving at a more measured pace.

I don’t believe though that Hillary would have so totally screwed up the Middle East as little Bammie has. His upbringing in the radical black left has made him hate the Jews, as they all do.

slickwillie2001 on July 17, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I’m still hoping Hillary runs against him… MUST SEE TV!!

Khun Joe on July 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Meh. Cordray is another ambitious former state AG (the joke in AG circles is that the initials really mean Aspiring Governor.) Nobody could be as bad as Warren though. Hopefully we have seen the last of her.

rockmom on July 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Jake Tapper is THE MAN!!

Khun Joe on July 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Well, Elizabeth was very busy…heh.

d1carter on July 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

In 1987 he became an undefeated five-time Jeopardy! champion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cordray

Past that, a professional Democrat, continually preened and prepped.

MarkT on July 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Warren’s damages have almost certainly already been accomplished, what with her having been “involved in” these regulatory agency hoodwinks for a while now, and, I am *sure* she’s among those “personal advisers” to Obama such that the Marxist-Cult plans are moving along whether she’s named a Czar or isn’t (and now isn’t, per the news).

Reading news about her and this situation, however, the wire services refer to Warren as (I paraphrase): working “on behalf of working families” while referring to Republicans who have opposed her as Czar as “rich corporations”. It seems Warren has been chiseled into the Marxist-Sculpture Garden Works as some heroic Big Brain laboring away for “working families” while those who may *dare to* oppose her (and Obama) are ghastly greedy dudes.

Lourdes on July 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

At this point, I think the nation should regard Harvard as not a friendly.

Lourdes on July 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

At this point, I think the nation should regard Harvard as not a friendly.

Lourdes on July 17, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I never thought about Harvard much, only having the opinion any lower middle class kid would…and having gotten it from their parents. Harvard was an Ivy League school, mostly for the wealthy, but a bastion of higher learning, and you had to be really smart to go there.

Now? It’s nothing more than a compound of commies, corrupting, and recruiting future communists.

What a sad fall for what was once considered, one of the greatest schools. Now? Not so much. I’d be ashamed if I had gone there…and wouldn’t tell anyone. Certainly not with any pride either.

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

In fact if we must tax something, let it be Ivy League school endowment funds. That’s where the big bucks are.

slickwillie2001 on July 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Great….another bureaucratic bureau, just what we need.
*groan*

tencole on July 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Now he’ll have even wider authority to write his own rules and enforce them as CFPB chair.

Which is exactly the kind of TOTALITARIAN government that ultimatly places a boot on the throat of the people!

Freddy on July 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Repubs had nothing to do with her dismissal. They got played by Obama and Geithner. She was only put forward because they knew Repubs would block her and take the fall. Geithner and the banks want nothing to do with her. Since her earlier appointment by Reid….from Wikipedia.

“On November 14, 2008, Warren was appointed by United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chair the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

In an interview at Newsweek, December 7, 2009 titled “Reining in, and Reigning Over, Wall Street” Elizabeth Warren was asked: “Congress is trying to reform financial regulation, and it can get a little abstract. Where should people focus?”

She responded:

To restore some basic sanity to the financial system, we need two central changes: fix broken consumer-credit markets and end guarantees for the big players that threaten our entire economic system. If we get those two key parts right, we can still dial the rest of the regulation up and down as needed. But if we don’t get those two right, I think the game is over. I hate to sound alarmist, but that’s how I feel about this.”

She was against Geithner’s too big to fail program that continues today having run up trillions in guarantees.

patrick neid on July 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM

InstaGlenn reminds us what Cordray did in the “Joe the Plumber” matter:

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s office is defending former state employees Helen Jones-Kelley, Douglas Thompson and Fred Williams. All have denied wrongdoing and asked that the case, filed last March in U.S. District Court in Columbus, be dismissed.

Jones-Kelley was director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Williams was the department’s assistant director and Thompson the deputy director of child support when the “Joe the Plumber” controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Jones-Kelley and Thompson are from the Dayton area.

Jones-Kelley and Williams resigned and Thompson had his job “revoked” in the wake of a report from Inspector General Tom Charles that found confidential state databases with personal information on Wurzelbacher were improperly accessed.

Cordray, a Democrat, said last week that he is following state law that “says in effect if you’re a state employee and you’re sued for work done in the course … of your employment, you’re entitled to a defense by the state attorney general’s office.”

The two Republicans seeking their party’s nomination to run against Cordray next year disagreed.

“These people violated the privacy of an Ohio citizen and they did it, it would appear, to advance a partisan political campaign, and I think taxpayers will be shocked to find that their tax dollars are going to defend them,” said Mike DeWine of Cedarville, the former U.S. senator and Greene County prosecutor.

Added Delaware County Prosecutor David Yost: “It’s an outrageous use of taxpayer money to defend the invasion of a citizen’s privacy.”

Cordray said his decision was made to “minimize the taxpayer exposure.” If the attorney general denies representation, he said, an employee can go to the court of claims after the lawsuit is terminated and seek to recover expenses, including court costs, attorney’s fees, investigative costs and expert witness fees. Private attorneys charging hourly rates would be expensive, said Cordray. To avoid this, the decision typically is made to provide representation, Cordray said.

He acknowledged that there are exceptions to the requirement that the attorney general represent state employees. For those to come into play, a determination must be made that the employee was acting “manifestly outside the scope of his official employment or official responsibilities, with malicious purpose, in bad faith or in a wanton or reckless manner.”

Another section of the law bars Cordray from discussing the information used to determine whether to represent the employees, he said. To meet the law’s legal requirements, Cordray would have had to have been sent a written report from the employers of each state worker outlining whether they met the requirements for representation.

“We have followed the process provided … and had a judgment to make and that’s the judgment we made,” said Cordray.

The inspector general’s investigation provided “some of the facts that were before us,” said Cordray.

“There are other facts before us, and we had to make a judgment on the facts … that’s what I can’t really talk about,” he said.

As a result of the inspector general’s probe, Strickland suspended Jones-Kelley for a month without pay. Thompson was suspended for four weeks without pay and Williams was suspended for two weeks without pay, both by acting ODJFS Director Jan Allen.

Charles Hallinan, a professor at the University of Dayton law school, said he would want to see the privileged information the attorney general received from the employers before commenting on whether he thinks Cordray should provide representation.

Wethal on July 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Bounce him, too. Fringe-kook ideologues don’t belong in government. Better yet … defund this goof-a$$ boondoggle altogether. When we have the Senate and White House, we’re closing it anyway.

Jaibones on July 17, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Can we just get rid of the new government ‘bureau’ and just call it fixed? See, and that way, nobodies feelings get hurt…she didn’t get fired…her position was just ‘right sized’.

AUINSC on July 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Republicans have painted the checks on Wurzelbacher as a politically motivated bid by Democrats to dig up dirt and discredit the McCain ally.

The Obama campaign has said it has no ties to the checks and supports investigations.

And now Obama is appointing Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray who covered up for Helen Jones-Kelley, Douglas Thompson and Fred Williams and Former Gov. Strickland.
Hummm? Corruption anyone?

DSchoen on July 17, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Wethal on July 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Charles Hallinan, a professor at the University of Dayton law school, said he would want to see the privileged information the attorney general received from the employers before commenting on whether he thinks Cordray should provide representation.

And the next paragraph

“If I took the inspector general’s report at face value, including the conclusion, if I reached the same conclusion as the inspector general, then I would be inclined to say ‘deny representation,’ ” Hallinan said. “At a minimum, I think the inspector general concluded that they were acting at least in a reckless manner.”

DSchoen on July 17, 2011 at 6:02 PM

What a sad fall for what was once considered, one of the greatest schools. Now? Not so much. I’d be ashamed if I had gone there…and wouldn’t tell anyone. Certainly not with any pride either.

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Ironically, Harvard, the first American college, was founded as a Divinity School.

onlineanalyst on July 17, 2011 at 7:37 PM

THUD! THUD! THUD!
Elizabeth Warren got thrown under the bus!
THUD! THUD! THUD!
Elizabeth Warren got thrown under the bus!
And Elizabeth got thrown!
And Elizabeth got thrown!
Elizabeth Warren got thrown under the bus!
HEY!
DOTUS gonna throw you too!
Elizabeth Warren got thrown under the bus!
THUD! THUD! THUD!

pilamaye on July 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

We’re dead broke, but let’s start another federal agency. Spending more money we don’t have and tightening the screws on Americans. Talk about killing two birds…

SKYFOX on July 18, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Just replacing one anti-small business airhead with another anti-small business airhead. Before this is over, every incompetent airhead from Harvard will have had a chance to bring our country down. Harvard is removing all doubt that an Ivy league degree is not worth the paper it is printed on. There has not been this level of incompetence in our history.

volsense on July 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

capejasmine on July 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I think Harvard like Yale and Princeton started as divinity schools.

abcurtis on July 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM