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Wash Post: Elizabeth Warren Drops Harvard Class, Fuels More Speculation

The Washington Post reports today that Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren -- a leading candidate to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — has suddenly dropped her teaching duties this fall, prompting more speculation that she may take a permanent job in the Obama administration.

"...[W]e regret the last minute change," Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow says in an email obtained by the Post.

For the past couple of years, Warren has taught classes at Harvard and commuted to Washington to fulfill her duties as chair of the panel overseeing the banking bailout. Liberal-minded reform groups have been pushing her candidacy to lead the newly created federal bureau, part of the sweeping financial reforms signed into law earlier this year. Warren was the original champion of the bureau's creation.

(Listen back to On Point's show with Warren earlier this summer.)

Warren was scheduled to teach class soon. But "something happened on the way to the chalkboard," the Post reports. Here's some of the email with the announcement to students:

"I'm writing to let you know that Professor Jerry Frug will be teaching your Contracts class this term instead of Professor Elizabeth Warren," law school dean Martha Minow wrote to students on Tuesday, according to an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. "Professor Warren regrets that she will not be able to teach you this fall and we regret the last minute change."

ABC's senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper told On Point host Tom Ashbrook last week that administration officials were still weighing their options. Republicans and some more conservative Democrats have concerns about Warren and may not vote to confirm her in any future Senate hearing, Tapper said:

I think right now the latest I’ve heard from senior White House officials is no decision has been made. They want her to play a role. But whether that role is director or not is in question. This is the creation of an entirely new bureaucracy, and whether or not Elizabeth Warren – even if she is a keen mind and a tough inquisitor – whether or not she has the experience to manage and create a bureaucracy out of nothing, I think is one of the big questions that the administration has not yet decided.

This program aired on September 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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