Just How Political Can Richard Cordray Be?

Scott Whitlock reported Thursday that ABC presented President Obama's non-recess "recess appointment" of financial regulator Richard Cordray as a "Consumer champion. Can this brand new man in town help you with your mortgage, your car loan, your credit cards?"

James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal discovered that the Obama administration had exactly the same spin. Imagine that. Cordray on his first day of rule-breaking government service was already sending out an e-mail full of political rhetoric about how they're the friendly neighborhood cop trying to stop financial crooks from harming you and your mother:

A left-wing reader writes us, with reference to President Obama's "recess" appointment of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: "Do you share the outrage expressed by many of your fellow travelers on the right? Or can you appreciate the way Obama has totally 'outfoxed' them politically?"

We don't really get the question. There's no contradiction or opposition between an action's being outrageous and its being politically effective. Meanwhile, another reader forwards a mass email he received from the CFPB, carrying Cordray's name and dated yesterday, ostensibly Cordray's first full day on the job:

As the new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and as someone who has been helping to build the Bureau for about a year now, I can tell you it's an extraordinary privilege to work on behalf of American consumers.

Consumers like you. Tell your story.


In our first six months, our team at the Bureau has been answering calls and reading stories from hundreds of American consumers every week. Their stories illustrate the kinds of issues people are dealing with around the country.

These things can happen to anyone. We are not talking about some impersonal abstraction, not about somebody "else." We are talking about each one of us. We're talking about our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our sons and daughters. Regular people who are trying to make the right choices for themselves and their families.

This sounds just like an Obama campaign email. Whether the Cordray appointment is politically effective remains to be seen, but we certainly agree with our lefty correspondent that's the intent. 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis