Interesting development in the glacially slow, will-he-or-won't-he nomination watch for Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency. This afternoon in Kentucky, Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate candidate, who's the furthest thing from a liberal, endorsed Warren for the job. This is significant for a number of reasons. It shows that Warren's base of support extends beyond liberals, which I think most people have assumed it did not. From Conway's perspective, the endorsement lets him associate his own work as the state's attorney general with Warren's sterling reputation on consumer protection (which he does in a statement here [pdf]). It also allows him to draw a bright line between himself and his GOP opponent, Rand Paul, who famously opposes most government regulation (but not the Civil Rights Act! ...anymore).
Here's my baseless speculation: If you're Jack Conway, running in a conservative state in a brutally tough year for Democrats, would you call on President Obama to nominate someone like Warren if there was a good chance she wasn't going to get the job? I tend to think not. On the other hand, if you knew he was going to choose her--let's say you'd gotten a head's up from someone at the White House--it would certainly be advantageous to endorse her beforehand, since Kentuckians couldn't help but be impressed by your influence with the White House when, a few days later, the announcement was made.
UPDATE: On the other hand, this rap video on behalf of Warren might also have persuaded him:
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