Elizabeth Warren's First Banking Committee Hearing Shows Why She Should Be President In 2016

Elizabeth Warren showed in her first hearing on the Senate Banking Committee why she is a credible champion of the lower and middle classes, and why she should run for President in 2016.

Elizabeth Warren for president. More on that in a moment.

Elizabeth Warren's meteoric political rise (after a long and distinguished career in bankruptcy law and academia) has landed her on the Senate Banking Committee, and her first Banking Committee hearing did not disappoint. While Democrats and Republicans have rangled since time immemorial over banking rules, few ever really stop to point out that as regulated as the banking sector is, it is heavily tilted in favor of the bankers. Even if they, say, crash the economy, they still are allowed to continue as normal, after paying off a few settlements.

Warren, however, was not speaking with the bankers, but the regulators who reach those settlements, and can take those banks to trial. Warren asked a simple question: have you ever actually taken a bank to trial instead of settling? The answers she got were a lot of words that added up to this one: no. Warren then pointed out that if they only ever have to settle, banks can simply factor in the cost of the settlement into their expenses and proceed as recklessly as they like.

"There are district attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds, and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it," Warren noted.

"I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial.'"

Now: why Elizabeth Warren should run for President. The Republicans are, more and more, the party of employers. Just look at their reflexive opposition to raising the minimum wage, a policy that would circulate more money in the economy and help millions of people get out of poverty. The Democrats have a huge opening to really reclaim their status as the party of employees, but they need a candidate who can credibly make that claim, and I don't see a viable one other than Elizabeth Warren. Hillary Clinton would be hard to stop, of course, but Clinton will have the support of the big banks. Warren would not, which would make her campaign an uphill climb, but her candidacy would also reignite the left the way Obama did in 2008.

Elizabeth Warren turns 67 in 2016. She can't count on another opportunity until 2024, when she turns 73. That's not out of the question, but it's not something to bank on. Even if she loses, her candidacy would champion fairness for the lower and middle classes like no one else could.

Elizabeth Warren for President.

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