There are perks that accrue to a Senate candidate who is also a top former financial regulator: when you call upon a failed banker to leave a government board, people around the country listen.
Elizabeth Warren has called upon Jamie Dimon–the embattled and soon to be former Chief Executive of J.P. Morgan Chase–to resign from the Board of Directors of the New York Fed. Dimon oversaw a $2.3 billion trading loss and Warren publicly called for his resignation. Her statement declared “We need to stop the cycle of bankers taking on risky activities, getting bailed out by the taxpayers, then using their army of lobbyists to water down regulations . . . We need a tough cop on the beat so that no one steals your purse on Main Street or your pension on Wall Street.”
Her demand has been picked up by media outlets all over the country, featured prominently in the Washington Post today, and ensures that conversations about Warren’s candidacy will compare her crusade against Dimon’s poor leadership and not the issue of her heritage.
This doesn’t happen simply because she’s a Senate candidate. It happens because she has spent a lifetime working on issues of finance, regulatory oversight, and consumer protection. She has a platform that few other politicians have on these issues.
Her opponents are likely to try to squeeze another week out of the story of her heritage. They will increasingly belittle themselves if they continue to milk the issue beyond its natural shelf life. Voters who are moved by that story have been so moved and her polling numbers don’t seem to have gone into the downward spiral some of her most ardent critics had hoped for. With a well-timed call for Dimon’s resignation, I suspect her campaign will have regained some crucial footing.