Warren: ‘I Never Really Wanted a Job Here’

Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:09am

Updated: 4:39 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren, whom President Barack Obama tapped as an adviser to help set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said Tuesday that she “never really wanted a job” in Washington, D.C., but is committed to getting the agency off the ground because she was asked to do it.

“You know, I’m not a Washington person,” Warren said on CBS’ “The Early Show.”

“I never really wanted a job here. I had this idea for this agency, and thought, ‘That’s it, you know, other people will take care of it.’ The president asked me to come here, and to start to work immediately, not to worry about titles, not to go through all that [confirmation] business, but to start to work to set up this agency, to start pushing back. And that’s exactly what I intend to do,” she said.

Warren, a Harvard University law professor, was the favorite among liberals to run the new consumer agency. But even some Senate Democrats warned that she was too liberal to clear the Senate confirmation process — something Obama was able to bypass by appointing her to a special advisory role instead of the agency’s chief. She currently heads the oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Warren dismissed the idea that her role is a compromised position since she will not run the agency.

“You know, I don’t know the politics. But I don’t see this as a compromise at all. There was one option, and that was to go the confirmation route, and I’m told that would take about a year during which I couldn’t do any work on the agency and – this is the part that amazes me – I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. Or, I could not have that title, and I could get to work right now,” she said.

“So I said to the president, ‘I want to go to work right now. I don’t care what you call me. Let me go to work and let me try to help. And when I’m no longer any help, I’ll leave,'” Warren said.