Will President Obama tap Elizabeth Warren to head the newly-created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection through a recess appointment?
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) proposed the strategy Wednesday, as reported by the Huffington Post, and liberal activists are rallying around the idea.
For Obama, such an appointment would not only please his occasionally-dispirited base, but also allow him to place Warren at the center of an agency that she called for and the president tapped her last year to set up.
But using a recess appointment and bypassing the Senate would create at least a few days of battle with Republicans, who view the Harvard professor as anti-business and strongly oppose both her and the existence of the agency itself. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) essentially accused Warren of lying to him at a hearing Tuesday.
Obama has worked hard since Election Day to reduce partisan tensions in Washington and appointing Warren would inflame conservatives while reassuring liberals who will most certainly vote for Obama in 2012 anyway.
Democrats have floated Warren’s name as a possible rival to Sen. Scott Brown (D-Mass.), which would eliminate her as a candidate for the consumer finance job, but it’s not clear if she wants to run or would be able to win a Democratic primary as a first-time candidate.