Professor Warren's nomination is crucial not only because of the positive signal it would send to the public, but also because consumer protection is the first line of defense against future financial meltdowns.
The political case for appointing Warren is even stronger than the policy case. Choosing anybody other than Warren will not make Obama appear reasonable or moderate--it will make him look weak and corruptible.
I just got back from the White House, where I watched President Obama sign the banking reform bill, and I reflected on what a significant victory it is for Hispanics and other minorities pursuing the American Dream.
As things sit, the White House is hesitating, looking for all the world like it is going to veer away from tapping Warren for the sort of job she was born to do. In so doing, Obama is picking some weak allies over some great enemies.