President Renominates Cordray, Sure Sign He's Not Running for Governor
With the Republicans in the Senate throwing at tantrum and refusing to confirm Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau because — waaaaaaaaaa! — they don't want the CFPB to exist and frankly, don't want ordinary citizens protected against the predations of the big banks, President Obama installed him with a recess appointment, good through the end of this year.
This afternoon, President Obama stated his intention to renominate Cordray and send his nomination back to the Senate. Waaaaaaaaaaaa ... he's not playing fair (some Republican is sure to say very soon).
Obviously, the President is not going to jump back in this fray dragging an unwilling nominee. So it's clear that Cordray has indicated he'd rather continue to run the CFPB — work he demonstrated a real passion for as Ohio treasurer (remember when we had one that showed up for work?) and attorney general — than come back to Ohio and hit the campaign trail to run for governor in 2014.
I'm not terribly surprised. I've been saying for a long time that if the President figured out a way to keep Cordray on the job in D.C., he would forgo the governor's face. Since I first crossed paths with Cordray when he was running for treasurer, it's been clear to me he has no great enthusiasm or knack for campaigning. He's not a gladhandler or a rabble-rousing speechmaker.
But he IS the kind of guy you want to have in office: supersmart, educated, well-informed in the minutiae of policy but with a strong grasp of the bigger picture of its impact on people, creative in using his offices to do the most good for the most people, and possessing a genuine devotion to public service. He'd be a terrific governor.
But he can also have an impact staying where he is, and he can do so without having to hit three parades on the Fourth of July and another three on Labor Day. I'm guessing he'd rather spend evenings at home poring over legal briefs relating to foreclosure and mortgage lending than hitting a couple of ward club meetings.
While Cordray would have been a great governor, we still have a couple of good candidates thinking of running, with both Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald and former congresswoman Betty Sutton muling the run. They'd both be great too.
And we could still have a Governor Cordray. A couple of years ago, when Ted Strickland was governor, Cordray took his twins — his son and daughter — to the governor's office to visit. He remarked afterward that they tried out the governor's chair and that his daughter looked like a natural sitting there. So maybe we'll be campaigning for Holly Cordray in 2042!