Reticence to nominate Warren: Sexism?

Elizabeth Warren testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: It's been a month now since President Obama signed the financial regulatory reform that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That agency will be a part of the Federal Reserve. The administration has yet to nominate a director. One of the leading candidates for the job is Elizabeth Warren. But since she hasn't gotten it yet, some advocates see sexism at play.

Marketplace's John Dimsdale has more from Washington.


JOHN DIMSDALE: Some of Warren's supporters, like Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, say the White House is reluctant to nominate her -- because of her gender.

TERRY O'NEILL: I think that it's a combination of Elizabeth Warren's attitude and her anatomy that is encouraging the good 'ol boys to try to block her.

In particular, O'Neill faults Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for joining Wall Street's testosterone-based opposition to Warren. A Treasury spokesman says the charge is untrue and points to Geithner's praise for Warren's record as a consumer advocate. Geithner says it's up to the president to pick the nominee.

As for Wall Street, historian John Steel Gordon says while it may be male dominated, banks have many reasons -- other than gender -- to oppose Warren as a regulator.

JOHN STEEL GORDON: Wall Street would much prefer a free-market woman to a government-dominated male. It's their philosophy they care about, not their gender.

Warren's supporters say they are gradually turning the White House in favor of her nomination to the consumer bureau.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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