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December 17, 2014

In losing Wall Street battle, Warren may gain party clout

“Before she became a senator, Elizabeth Warren came to Capitol Hill and promised “plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor” if she did not get meaningful reforms of Wall Street. This week, she showed what she meant.

“The Massachusetts Democrat brought Congress to the brink of yet another government shutdown in her effort to kill a provision that she said would have once again put taxpayers at risk of bailing out big banks. The provision was inserted by Republicans in a huge spending bill.

“She appears to have lost the policy fight, but won a political battle.

“By Friday morning, more than 300 former Obama aides had signed a letter urging her to run for president, joining overtures made by an increasing number of liberal groups, some of which are unhappy with front-runner Hillary Clinton. Warren said again Friday that she will not run.

“It’s not about rifts. It’s not politics,” Warren said in an interview, as she reiterated her now familiar argument that middle-class families are losing out to the billionaire class. “It’s about putting the issues forward.

“Even though the spending bill, with the banking provision included, appeared headed to passage in the Senate and on to President Obama’s desk, Warren managed the difficult feat of galvanizing much of her party’s liberal base this week.”

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“But Warren and other Wall Street critics believed that they needed to send a message that they would not roll over to Wall Street. Former representative Barney Frank, who co-wrote the Dodd-Frank financial regulations that bear his name, said the spending provision was “the road map for stealthily undoing all this in the future.”

“You’re not always going to win. That’s just the nature of politics,” said Dennis Kelleher, a Wall Street critic who heads a group called Better Markets and a Warren ally. “Every time the American people are reminded of what Wall Street’s doing in the dark corners of Washington, it’s a loss for Wall Street.”

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Read the full Boston Globe article by Noah Bierman and Matt Viser here

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