Obama Abandons Warren, Names Cordray as Consumer Chief

After months of GOP opposition in Congress, the president gives up on his first choice to run a new financial protection board

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The White House on Sunday announced the long-awaited nomination for a director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- and it may come as a surprise to some that the administration official most associated with financial reform, Elizabeth Warren, is not the pick. Instead, President Obama's choice is Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general and current head of the enforcement division at CFPB.

Warren was a popular choice among many Democrats to be the nominee, but would have faced strong opposition from Senate Republicans.

President Obama in a statement on Sunday said Cordray "has spent his career advocating for middle class families, from his tenure as Ohio's attorney general to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the CFPB and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system."

But Obama thanked Warren in his statement as well, "not only for her extraordinary work standing up the new agency over the past year, but also for her many years of impassioned leadership, and her fierce defense of a simple idea: ordinary people deserve to be treated fairly and honestly in their financial dealings.

"This agency was Elizabeth's idea," Obama added, "and through sheer force of will, intelligence, and a bottomless well of energy, she has made, and will continue to make, a profound and positive difference for our country."

Image credit: Mark Duncan/AP, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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Deron Lee is a copy editor at National Journal.

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