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The Finance 202: Biden's transition team juggles competing demands as liberals push Warren for Treasury

www.washingtonpost.com
7 min read
fairly difficult
Biden, if he wins, will be under pressure to offer key posts to liberal and diverse candidates.
"Donors, activists and leaders on the left want Warren" in the role, more than six of them told NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald. "And people Warren has spoken to are under the impression that she wants the job if she is offered it."

Other activists tell me they are at least as focused on Treasury candidates they would like to nix from consideration. Among them: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), a former venture capitalist with deep ties to Wall Street. Biden's transition team has informed Democratic officials that she is in the running, the American Prospect's David Dayen reports.

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In a sign of how involved the parlor game over a Biden Treasury pick has become, the Raimondo report set off speculation, first cited in the piece itself, that Biden officials are only floating her to make the team's preferred choice of Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, more acceptable to the left.

Brainard, the lone Democratic member of the Fed board, is drawing liberal criticism for advocating, among other things, freer trade as an Obama treasury undersecretary and not more forcefully advocating for the Fed to support to local governments struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Warren would be a great candidate. But there are multiple options out there for Biden that would also be good," the Revolving Door Project's Jeff Hauser tells me. "I don't think from my vantage point it's Warren or bust."

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Among those in the mix whom Hauser and other activists say deserve serious consideration: Former Fed chair Janet L. Yellen, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic, and former Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin. In addition to Raimondo, liberals are raising objections to another reported Treasury short-lister, TIAA chief executive Roger Ferguson.

Liberals have raised the stakes over the position because they remain suspicious of Biden's commitment to their priorities.

Biden has moved meaningfully left over the course of the…
Tory Newmyer
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