Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor tapped by President Obama to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said Monday she would think about running for Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) seat in 2012.
In response to a question, Warren told MSNBC that she needed to go home and think about whether to run against Brown.
"I’ve been working 14 hours a day on trying to stand this … agency up, really for more than a year now," she said. "When I go home, I’ll do more thinking then. But I need to do that thinking not from Washington."
Warren's comments on Monday mark the clearest indication yet that the liberal hero is at least thinking about running for the Senate. She has been recruited by Democrats in an attempt to reclaim the seat once held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and a liberal grassroots group on Monday launched a campaign to convince her to run.
Warren said on MSNBC that she has not decided on her future yet, and was first looking to take some time off after setting up the CFPB.
Democrats have long hoped that Warren would run against Brown. They see Massachusetts as one of their best opportunities to pick off a Senate seat this election, but many are underwhelmed by the current field.
Only philanthropist Alan Khazei has shown any fundraising ability, and he finished a distant third in the primary the first time he ran for this seat in 2009.
Brown, the only Republican in the state's congressional delegation, is considered vulnerable given the political makeup of Massachusetts. The freshmen senator, whose election in January 2010 put approval of the healthcare law in doubt, has sought to maintain his image as a centrist politician, and already has almost $10 million cash on hand for the election.
Warren's comments came after Obama nominated Richard Cordray to be the first director of the CFPB. Warren brought on the former Ohio attorney general to head up the CFPB's enforcement efforts.
While Warren has served as the de facto head of the agency and as its biggest advocate since it was being considered as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, she has come under strong criticism from congressional Republicans for her strong critiques of the financial industry. It was widely expected that if she were nominated to head the CFPB, she would face a very difficult confirmation battle.
However, it is not clear Cordray will have a much clearer path, as Senate Republicans are insisting they will block any nominee to head the CFPB unless several major changes are made to the bureau's structure.
The CFPB is set to open its doors on July 21.