The political journey of Elizabeth Warren

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-She talked about student debt. She talked about,
you know, mortgages. She talked about all kinds
of economic issues pertaining to working families. She talked about bankruptcy. -In 2011, in a living room
in Boston, Elizabeth Warren was thinking
about running for the US Senate. Joyce Linehan remembers it well. -It was incredible, you know? My friends, there were some — So, people in the room
would have been social workers, artists, teachers, you know,
neighborhood activists, so there was a pretty good,
you know, range of people in there, and they were all really,
really taken with her. You know, I can’t say
there weren’t tears, but everybody to a person,
as they walked out there door, said, you know,
“If she’s in, I’m in.” -At one house party in Andover,
someone was recording. -There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own —
nobody. You built a factory out there,
good for you, but I want to be clear —
You moved your goods to market on the roads
the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us
paid to educate. You were safe in your factory
because of police forces and fire forces
that the rest of us paid for. -It was speech that went viral
and got people talking. -Will new taxes on the rich
solve anything. What do you make of Elizabeth
Warren’s comments that everybody who succeeded
in doing anything in the United States of America has been successful
because of the government? -I think it’s
the best advertisement I’ve seen in a long time for limiting the size
and scope of government. It’s terrifying. -Elizabeth Warren had never run
for office, but did have a knack
for explaining things, as a Harvard
Law School professor. -No one seems to particularly
like many law school professors. You know, they’re not warm
and cuddly types, but there was a joy in what she
did, and that joy translates. She had to be persuaded to run. She saw herself as, you know,
sort of a classic progressive appointed policy maker, even though she had earned
her political chops and knew how to wheel
and deal behind the scenes along with the best of them, but she did not think she was
destined for electoral office. -Before she was
a political candidate, Warren was a consumer advocate. She had spent years
studying why people go bankrupt. Collecting data from courts across the United States,
she found… -That about 90%
of all bankruptcies result from one of three factors — unexpected medical bills,
unemployment, and divorce. And so she actually became
kind of an advocate for vulnerable people
in America who, due to circumstances most often
beyond their control, ended up in extreme
financial distress. -Dennis Kelleher is president
of Better Markets, a non-partisan group
promoting financial reform. He has known Elizabeth Warren
for more than 20 years. -People may not know the details of what she did
or what her policies are, but the one thing
you can be sure of is that Liz Warren has been
fighting her entire life for the little guy
and the little gal. -Building a credit card
is more profitable than building any other kind
of consumer lending, and within that, the revenues
are coming seven dollars to one for building in interest rates
and late fees, where you can snag customers whenever they slip
and fall at all. It’s about tricks and traps. -We don’t have the time
to go into that. Thank you.
-When markets melted down in 2008 and banks
needed a bail-out, Warren was picked to chair
a congressional panel, watching how taxpayer money
got spent. -Good morning, Mr Secretary. We appreciate your returning
here to testify. Time is running out
to make certain that we have used this money to assure the stability
of our financial system. Time is also running out
to make certain that TARP money is used to help families
and small businesses the way it was so quickly used
to help Wall Street. -As Congress passed new
financial regulations, Warren had an idea
for a new government agency, an agency that would help
enforce those regulations. -Good afternoon, everybody. The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau will be a watchdog
for the American consumer, charged with enforcing the toughest financial
protections in history. Now, getting this agency
off the ground will be an enormously important
task — a task that can’t wait. And that task is something that
I’ve asked Elizabeth to take on. We are extremely proud of you,
Elizabeth. Good luck.
-Thank you, Mr President. -But Warren never got to lead
that new agency. President Obama named
someone else over worries Republicans
would block her confirmation. -She deserved it.
It was her — It was her idea. It was her passion,
her commitment. She was the logical
and obvious choice. Sheila Bair is a Republican
and former chair of the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation. She first met Elizabeth Warren as part of an advisory committee
on consumer issues. -This idea that she wants
government control of everything and is going to put everybody in
jail and blow everything up — that’s just not who she is. She wants accountability. -The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, or CFPB,
opened for business in 2011. -Within its first five years
or so, it actually recovered more than
$12 billion for over 25 million ripped off Americans
from financial institutions. -Back in Boston,
Elizabeth Warren went from battling the big banks
to being on the ballot. In 2012, she became the first female
senator from Massachusetts. -This victory belongs to you. You did this. You did this.
You did this. -Warren has been the primary
sponsor of seven bills that became law, legislation
that includes protections for veterans and their finances
and privacy rules for people who are the subject
of genetic research. Seven years into her
political career, at age 70, she’s now
running for president. It is a campaign built around
specific policy proposals to restructure how government
works and who it works for. -And I got a plan.
Yeah, yeah. I’ve got a plan for that. -She’s just so whip-smart,
you know. It comes naturally to her. And so, you know, I don’t agree
with all of her policies, but I trust that
she’s thought them out well, that they’re well intended, and focused
on the right problem, which is the public and the
middle class, in particular. -But critics say her plans
are unworkable, and in this political climate, they would not get
far in Congress. -Getting anything done
legislatively as long as the Republicans control
the Senate is an impossibility. So, you have to look
at Elizabeth Warren’s great array of policies as a roadmap to how she would
use the administrative state to reshape the political
and economic realities of the United States. -The Democratic
candidates debate. -Warren faces another
challenge — a crowded field
of Democratic candidates, including one
named Bernie Sanders. -I want to say
thank you to Bernie. -Elizabeth Warren
and Bernie Sanders share the same
ideological space. Their message is very similar
to voters. It’s the idea that the system
is rigged. Should the two of them stay
in the race, they could end up
splitting the vote and support
on the far left of the party, and that gives a moderate
a real good shot to, you know,
catapult to the nomination. -Just three things,
three structural changes. We’re gonna fight back
against the corruption. -In her run for the presidency,
Warren is using the same skills Joyce Linehan saw back in that
living room in Boston in 2011. Each campaign stop
is a classroom. -That was her magic power —
her ability to tell the story about how the economic system is not working for people,
not like they didn’t know. They knew they could feel it, but she could explain
why it was happening and what we could
possibly work on to undo that. So, I think teacher is really
the thing that sets her apart from a lot of other politicians
I’ve seen over the years. -Today, a full-time
minimum wage job in America will not keep a momma
and a baby out of poverty. That is wrong, and that is why
I am in this fight! -Let’s win!
-Warren! Warren!
Warren! Warren! Warren! Warren!
Warren! Warren!

 

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