Who Will Have the Last Laugh?

President Obama recently announced former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as his pick to run the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A man with impeccable credentials, which include clerking the Supreme Court, serving as editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago's Law Review and retiring as an undefeated five-time Jeopardy champ, the hope is that Cordray will not have many difficulties getting through the confirmation process. Indeed, it seems that the confirmation process was in the forefront of Obama's mind when introducing Cordray to the press, as the President went so far as making a joke about Jeopardy's questions as answers format and Senate questioning which fell disappointingly flat

The assembled members of the press at the White House were not the only ones who failed to laugh upon the announcement of Cordray's nomination; presumably the interim head of the CFPB, Elizabeth Warren, also missed the joke. Warren, like Cordray impeccably credentialed, was nonetheless far less likely to get through the confirmation process successfully due to her outspoken comments about the financial industry prior to joining the Bureau. Because of these often brazen criticisms of the financial industry (she probably also didn't do herself any favors by appearing in a Michael Moore film), it was clear that Republicans were going to do their best to block her during the nomination process. As a result, Obama went with a safer pick while Warren is currently mulling a run at Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat. For those who haven't kept tabs on Massachusetts politics recently, the now-junior seat from the state has been kept warm by Scott Brown since a special election following the Liberal Lion's passing.

So who will have the last laugh? Cordray, taking over a new and growing organization with a monster mandate which has already become accustomed to Warren's guiding hand in mid-stride? That sounds more like a headache to us. Obama, with a much safer candidate for nomination making his way to Capitol Hill? He has undoubtedly moved on to other things by now. Perhaps the press corps, who, one example notwithstanding, invariably falls for all the other jokes Obama makes? I think we can dismiss their chuckles as mere pandering. Among all the others, our pick for last laugh in this story goes to Mrs. Warren. Though she is likely disappointed right now, her prospects are still incredibly bright. The Senate seat she is considering has good staying power and comes with a nice salary and benefits. She could always go back to teaching law at Harvard. And even if those options don't work out, well, there is always Legoland with the grandkids.

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