Elizabeth Warren’s high-profile fight to kill a provision in the spending bill that would permit big banks to trade risky derivatives without federal regulation (but with federal bailouts) dramatically highlights the differences been her and Hillary Clinton.The contrast couldn’t be greater.
Warren is passionate, unambiguous about her positions, and clever in garnering support for her anti-Wall Street campaign. Calling the bill a “Wall Street bailout” Warren didn’t hesitate to confront her powerful Wall Street opponents. Citibank, the author of the bank bailout language was the biggest target of her wrath:
“There’s a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how the Dodd-Frank Act isn’t perfect. So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi: I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.”
You won’t hear Hillary talking like that. Hillary is quintessentially cautious, poll-driven, and coy about everything. She won’t be pinned down on important issues and she’s AWOL on the biggest public policy debates. Instead, she promotes vanilla ideas with no opposition— education for girls, cookstoves for the Third World.
And don’t expect Hillary to criticize big banks. No way. The Wall Street boys are her best friends and CitiGroup her biggest bankroller. According to the International Business Times, Citi executives were the “single largest source” of contributions to her her Senate campaign and one of the biggest contributors to her 2008 presidential campaign. Her Citi friends contributed over $780,000 throughout her career. She’s not going to rock that gravy train.
There’s another big difference between the two women. Warren knows how to use her status as a star in the Senate to bring attention to the issues she cares about. Hillary could never do that.
Even though she had rock star status, Hillary was never successful in getting ANYTHING important passed while she was in the Senate. Her biggest accomplishments were renaming post offices and sending congratulations to local high school teams. She wasn’t invited to be part of the leadership and basically had no influence.
Warren has already been given a new leadership position and has shown that she can bring attention to her favorite issues. She hasn’t won any of her fights, but she’s constantly out there with a strong consistent message that resonates with the grassroots.
Meanwhile, Hillary’s talking about early childhood education – an important but dull topic.
And don;t think the liberals haven’t noticed.