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New Yorker: Liz Warren Controls Hillary Clinton

This article was written by Ryan Lizza and originally published in the New Yorker:

The relationship between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, the Party’s most likely Presidential nominee, goes back to the second half of the Clinton Administration. Warren told me recently that the most dramatic policy fight of her life was one in which Bill and Hillary Clinton were intimately involved. She recalls it as the “ten-year war.” Between 1995 and 2005, Warren, a professor who had established herself as one of the country’s foremost experts on bankruptcy law, managed to turn an arcane issue of financial regulation into a major political issue.

In the late nineteen-nineties, Congress was trying to pass a bankruptcy bill that Warren felt was written, essentially, by the credit-card industry. For several years, through a growing network of allies in Washington, she helped liberals in Congress fight the bill, but at the end of the Clinton Administration the bill seemed on the verge of passage. Clinton’s economic team was divided, much as Democrats today are split over economic policy. His progressive aides opposed the bill; aides who were more sympathetic to the financial industry supported it. Warren targeted the one person in the White House who she believed could stop the legislation: the First Lady. They met alone for half an hour, and, according to Warren, Hillary stood up and declared, “Well, I’m convinced. It is our job to stop that awful bill. You help me and I’ll help you.” In the Administration’s closing weeks, Hillary persuaded Bill Clinton not to sign the legislation, effectively vetoing it.

But just a few months later, in 2001, Hillary was a senator from New York, the home of the financial industry, and she voted in favor of a version of the same bill. It passed, and George W. Bush signed it into law, ending Warren’s ten-year war with a crushing defeat. “There were a lot of people who voted for that bill who thought that there was going to be no political price to pay,” Warren told me.

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