Starting in December of 2004 and into the early months of 2005 TPM turned itself almost exclusively over to a focus on President Bush’s eventually failed effort to partially phase out Social Security and replace it with a system of private investment accounts. This got the attention of a Harvard Law Professor named Elizabeth Warren and her students and alerted them to the potential of online advocacy about key public policy issues affecting ordinary Americans’ lives. Warren and her students reached out to me and this led to our setting up a short-run blog exclusively focused on the federal bankruptcy bill then moving through Congress. Around the time that legislative battle had run its course we were launching TPMCafe. We decided to make that short-term effort permanent with Warren Reports, one of five sections of the original TPMCafe.
In 2005 Warren was far from an unknown figure. She had published widely read books on middle class squeeze and consumer debt issues and her public profile was growing. But she wasn’t an elected politician and I suspect (though obviously I can’t know) had little expectation of becoming one. Certainly she was far less well known than she is today and has been for going on a decade.
So today we’re republishing the posts she wrote for the TPM Bankruptcy Bill Blog (read them here) and Warren Reports (read them here) from mid-2005 through 2008, after which she went into the Obama administration.
Blogging is an inherently ephemeral medium. So some of the post are more momentary or significant than others. But we believe that, as the primary campaign gets underway, they offer a newsworthy and unique window into Warren’s beliefs and ideas more than a decade ago and especially before they were laid over by whatever pressures and trimming electoral office and the pressures of campaigning apply to anyone who takes up that mantle.
Some of you read these fifteen years ago. For those reading them for the first time we hope you enjoy them and find them edifying, for good or ill, about the current Democratic presidential primary campaign.