Warren Wins on Weiss

It’s one of those news items that can get lost in the shuffle, but it’s worth noting (per a report from Politico‘s Ben White):

Antonio Weiss, the Wall Street banker who President Barack Obama had picked to be the third-ranking official at the Treasury Department, has asked that the president not resend his nomination to the Senate following a major backlash from progressive Democrats who questioned his ties to the financial industry, POLITICO has learned.
Obama accepted the decision, which Weiss conveyed in a letter to the president over the weekend….

Obama last year nominated Weiss, a widely admired banker with decades of experience in the industry, to the position of Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. He would have been responsible for helping managing the nation’s $18 trillion debt portfolio as well communicating with Congress over budget and other issues.

But Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who came out strongly against the nomination, along with some others progressive Democrats, said that Weiss did not have enough regulatory experience and would be too deferential to the finance industry.

Since those “progressive Democrats” included Joe Manchin, I’d say Weiss was already in deep trouble, and it’s to his credit (and indirectly Obama’s) that he threw in the towel. His reward is a “counselor” position at Treasury that doesn’t require Senate confirmation, similar in rank, as a matter of fact, to Elizabeth Warren’s before she ran for the Senate.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.