The Two (lady) Wonk Presidency


To the extent that Hillary values Elizabeth Warren’s knowledge base – and she seems to – that will be the basis of any authority or influence a Vice President Warren will  have.

Jonathan Zasloff  FACEBOOK

For me, the touchstone of whether Warren should be on the ticket turns on her personal relationship with Clinton: that is really the ONLY source of Vice Presidential authority. Losing her voice in the Senate is bad; her wielding real influence in the administration is good. Brian Beutler makes the case that she is just as qualified as Kaine (whom I also think highly of).

If the two women bond, it seems to me it will be over something that has gotten comparativelyClinton Warren The Ave predicts ico less attention: they are both policy wonks. Hillary’s wonkishness has sort of been beaten to death. But it is easy to forget that Warren was and is one of the top two or three bankruptcy and commercial law scholars in the country. Right wing fever swamp insanities about how much Cherokee blood she has notwithstanding, she got the Harvard job because she was at the top of her field. Her many articles and books with Jay Westbrook of U Texas and Teresa Sullivan, now UVA President, are pathbreaking empirical studies of debt, risk, and its horribly destructive effect on working Americans. When I was an editor of the Yale Law Journal back in the early 90’s, we published a very controversial article about why we should scrap Chapter 11. Even though just about every bankruptcy scholar in the world wanted to respond, there was no question whom we would ask: Elizabeth Warren, then at Penn. There is a reason why she has focused on her themes of Wall Street, banking, and consumer protection during her time in the Senate: she knows it cold. You can disagree with her analysis, but to dismiss her as some sort of unhinged radical simply ignores more than three decades of her scholarly work. To the extent that Hillary values this knowledge base – and she seems to – that will be the basis of any authority or influence a Vice President Warren would have.

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