Warren’s Book Portrays Tense Meeting With Obama Over CFPB Nod


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) got into a tense exchange with President Barack Obama when the president asked her to help set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alongside then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a longtime rival who did not support Warren’s nomination to run the organization.

“You’re jamming me, Elizabeth,” Obama said, as recounted in Warren’s new memoir, “A Fighting Chance.” Excerpts of the book were reported by The Boston Globe on Wednesday. Obama had asked to meet with Warren privately in September 2010.

Warren at first said she did not want to help set up the agency in a conversation that she describes as lasting over an hour — interrupted twice by aides who reminded Obama he had other meetings.

“He urged me not to overplay my hand,” Warren wrote in the new book. “Got it.”

“Sometimes you have to trust the president,” Obama said in the meeting. “Let me work this out.”

Obama won out in the end and Warren agreed to help.

“All right,” Warren said, according to the book. “I’ll trust you on this.”

The new book is set to be released next week.

The book will reportedly include more than one example of Warren sometimes disagreeing with Obama advisers. Warren also recounted in the book how Larry Summers, who served as the president’s director of the National Economic Council, and other Obama advisers opposed Warren’s nomination to run the CFPB. Warren did not name which advisers opposed her running the agency but wrote in the book that some of them wanted her to serve as a “cheerleader” instead.

“I assume that was meant as a metaphor, but I had to wonder: Cheerleader?” Warren wrote. “Would the same suggestion have been made to a many in my position? I did not rush out to buy pom-poms.”