Let Richard Cordray Off The Leash

ThinkProgress Supreme Leader Faiz Shakir has a piece in the Washington Post arguing that unprecedented obstruction requires unprecedented tactics. Specifically, he argues that Barack Obama needs to drop the DC convention of having nominees suffer in silence meeting privately with legislators and let Richard Cordray speak:

After withdrawing his nomination earlier this year, Nobel Laureate Diamond was finally free to speak out. He took to the pages of the New York Times and appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” to bemoan the many misconceptions that had been advanced by Republicans about his record. It was a cogent and powerful response to his detractors. But it came too late.

It’s time for a no-regrets approach. Richard Cordray shouldn’t be quarantined from the media while Republicans go on the attack. This time, let the nominee speak.

I think this is especially compelling in light of the fact that at least 44 Senate Republicans have already indicate that they’ll filibuster any nominee unless President Obama agrees to substantially restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in order to make it more bank-friendly. Under the circumstances, we’re not really talking about a narrow “confirmation strategy;” we’re talking about a broader political strategy around the CFPB. Since Cordray would be the first chief of the new bureau whose very existence and basic structure are controversial, it makes a lot of sense for him to do media appearances where he can explain his vision for the agency in some detail and lay out his argument for the structure currently enshrined in law.