BOSTON — Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren met with Gov. Deval Patrick at the State House for more than an hour Thursday, and afterward spoke to the press about what’s next as she prepares to take over for Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate.
Warren said she is looking to staff her office with people who are smart and thoughtful.
“Some should have experience within government, and some not,” Warren said. “I think that diversity in building a staff — in every meaning of that word, diversity — is a strength.”
Given her experience overseeing financial companies, one would expect that Warren would want to serve on the Senate Banking Committee.
But she would not specify what committee assignments she’s seeking. Though new to the Senate, she knows how the game is played on Capitol Hill behind the scenes. When pressed about committee assignments, she had this response:
I will continue to talk to the leader about that. That’s where we are now.
The “leader” is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Warren was asked how a record 20 female senators will affect the Senate. She answered like a law professor who has based her career on empirical evidence:
That’s what we’ll find out. You know, each of us comes with a different set of experiences. I’m delighted that there will be more women in Senate. Women have necessarily grown up with different experiences than men.
But Warren pointed out that although it’s a record, there are still only 20 women in the Senate.
“Let’s get serious here,” she said. “This is 2012, and we’re talking about 20 percent of the United States Senate will be female. That’s not an overwhelming number yet.”
Warren was asked several times about the so-called fiscal cliff — the set of automatic budget cuts and expiring tax breaks that are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, unless Congress acts. It’s a problem Warren doesn’t own, because it will be resolved before she takes office, and so she confined herself to saying that negotiations going on now should continue.