In an interview with The New Republic's Isaac Chotiner, my state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, boasts that he was responsible for the Senate candidacy of Elizabeth Warren:
IC: One of the people you say has shaped your outlook is Elizabeth Warren. And obviously, she's someone who has a lot of support from the grassroots of the Democratic Party --Schumer seems to think Warren has important things to say about inequality:
CS: You know I helped persuade her to run. There is a good little story. [Looks to aide] I can tell this. I went to Scott Brown and said, "If you give us the sixtieth vote for the Citizens United rollback, we won't go after you." I spent a lot of time lobbying him, and met some of his friends and had them lobby him. He said yes. Then he said no. So I wanted to recruit the strongest candidate against him, and I thought that was Elizabeth Warren.
CS: ... Before that, I had gotten to know her when she was the first person who really highlighted that median income had declined over the past decade. From 2001 to 2007, it went down, like, four or five percent. Everybody looked at average income -- which had been going up! But you remember your old mathematics...But his admiration has, um, limits:
CS: So if you made ten million dollars in 2001 and you made twenty million dollars in 2007, you'd pull the average way up, but the median could still go down.
CS: So, Elizabeth. I got to know her. And I believe in a broad Democratic Party. I don't agree with her on everything. But it’s great she’s here.And as for the lefty blogosphere:
IC: It seems like one difference would be the approach to Wall Street. I assume you're not supporting a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, which she is sponsoring?
IC: You and Mayor Bloomberg, in 2007, said that reregulating Wall Street would cause people to flee overseas to London. That is very different than Warren.
CS: It has got to be, to me, a careful balance, OK? Wall Street excesses helped lead to the Great Recession. And to sit there and do nothing, or do what the Republicans want -- repeal Dodd-Frank-- makes no sense. But on the other hand, I think that you just don’t attack Wall Street because they’re successful or rich....
IC: You don't think Elizabeth Warren makes a villain out of Wall Street?
CS: I am just going to leave it at what I said.
IC: Forget Warren then. Is this a problem for your party?I think it's safe to say that Schumer thinks Warren is one of those crazy, angry lefties who make a villain of Wall Street. He correctly assumed that she could beat Scott Brown, and yet he obviously doesn't think she's too dangerous to have in the Senate, despite all her regrettable anti-Wall Street anger, which he doesn't want to talk about. Can we assume he doesn't think that's a problem because he thinks Warren, like those angry blogs, has too little credibility and (especially) too little clout to hurt his precious Wall Street?
CS: You don't want to go after them for the sake of going after them. The left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti-Wall Street. It's not the right way to be.
IC: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case?
CS: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.