In case you missed it, today's bit of hot and sexy Beltway speculation concerns Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren. The Washington Post's Brady Dennis reports today that Martha Minow, the dean of Harvard Law School, sent around an email to students today informing them that Warren, who was scheduled to teach contracts class in the fall, will not be returning. "Professor Warren regrets that she will not be able to teach you this fall and we regret the last minute change," Minow wrote.
So, time for everyone to start straight-up speculating as to whether this means Warren is soon to be named the head of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection! Warren is beloved by progressives because of her unwavering support for consumer protection, Wall Street oversight, and her larger opinions on the American middle class (specifically, that there should be one, and that it should not get murdered constantly, in financial crises.) Of course, these are the very same opinions that make her all but unconfirmable in the eyes of people like Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
But the White House, having spent the year deriding the "professional left" and referring to their base as "f-cking retarded", could really stand to toss their supporters some kind of bone, especially in the wake of a terrifying Gallup poll that found a yawning gap in enthusiasm between Democrats and Republicans, who have wisely spent the past year telling their base that they are special, precious angels who have been terribly misunderstood.
Of course, the White House has already done what it can to throw a damp towel on the sudden uptick in speculation. As Jonathan Weisman reports for the Wall Street Journal:
"No decision has been made and no plans for an announcement this week," White House deputy communications director Jen Psaki said curtly.
The potential exists for President Barack Obama to appoint Warren to the head of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, but that window is closing -- the House and Senate reconvene on September 13.