Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wastes no time. From the moment she sat down with Dave Letterman on The Late Show, she veered away from telling Letterman formalities about how taking a break from the Senate was (as he had asked) and instead told him that there was lots of work to be done back home “in the Commonwealth.” Her energy and passion underscored every word she says, every anecdote she told.
Though she was on the show to discuss her new book, A Fighting Chance, there was no sense of self-promotion or even any focus on herself in the interview. When Letterman started by asking about her childhood, she touched on her personal struggles after her father had a heart attack that destroyed the family’s financial stability. But the focus was not on Warren herself; rather, it was the realization that, when her family underwent struggles, her mother took a minimum wage job and was able to support them. Now, however, as she put it, “A person can work full-time at a minimum wage job and still live in poverty. And I think that’s just fundamentally wrong.”
From there, Letterman asked her about the financial crisis of 2008 and how she got into politics. Warren had been a teacher all her life, from teaching special needs students to eventually teaching law school. She then told the story of getting the call to join a financial crisis task force during a barbecue with law school students. Amidst her boisterous laughter, she told Letterman how she could hardly hear Senator Harry Reid (then Majority Leader) on the phone asking her to Washington because her golden retriever Otis was barking so loudly for food.
Now, six years later and a U.S. Senator, her main beef with the aftermath of the financial crisis remains that the government threw in money to help big financial institutions but not to help American people. This extends from banks cheating people to student loan interest rates that make it impossible for young graduates to start their lives. She did, however, express her satisfaction in winning the fight against the big banks to help create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In her words, “It’s tough, it’s strong, and it has changed those markets.”
The segment ended rather abruptly as her time elapsed during their discussion of student loans, leaving a major elephant in the room: is Warren considering a run for president? Until then, we, like Letterman, can focus on her book and her passionate progressivism.