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Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Elizabeth Warren considering Martha Coakley, other state AGs for consumer protection job?

By Ariana Eunjung Cha


Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (right) with Vicki Kennedy in January. (Photo Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren had discussions with four Democratic state attorneys general about the director's job for the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to Bloomberg.

Among those who had meetings with Warren about the position are: Tom Miller of Iowa, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts.

"Although Warren didn't discuss a job offer with any of them, the implication is that an attorney general could be a leading candidate... Warren's focus was soliciting advice on the qualifications a director should have, both people said. They said the White House is aware that Warren has been consulting outsiders on the consumer bureau post, and isn't close to choosing a nominee," sources told Bloomberg.

Warren, 61, had been widely considered a leading candidate for the job but in September President Obama sidestepped a potentially vicious confirmation battle by appointing her as a special advisor instead. Since then, Warren--a Harvard law professor who is adored by liberals and consumer advocates, but has been criticized by many bankers and congressional Republicans--has taken the lead in shaping the new agency.

Over the past month, she has made a number of senior appointments to the bureau. Leonard Kennedy, a Sprint Nextel executive who managed the legal department, was named general counsel.

Filling out the other senior positions in the general counsels office will be: Meredith Fuchs, who was chief investigative council for the energy committee; Roberto Gonzalez, White House as associate counsel and special assistant to the President; and Michael Gordon, a counselor in the Treasury Department.

Warren also named Holly Petraeus-- the wife of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan--to head the agency's efforts to protect military families from abusive lenders.

In December, Warren announced that Leonard Chanin, a Federal Reserve official, would head up the card-markets division while David Silberman, an A.F.L.-C.I.O. lawyer, would take charge of writing new rules for consumer products. And in September, Warren added Richard Cordray, the outgoing attorney general of Ohio who narrowly lost his re-election bid, to run the bureau's enforcement division.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | January 28, 2011; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  
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