Business, Finance & Economics

Elizabeth Warren created Occupy Wall Street?


Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill, on July 22, 2009 in Washington, DC.


Brendan Hoffman

So Elizabeth Warren created the Occupy Wall Street movement?

In a wide-ranging interview published on the Daily Beast, the Harvard professor and current candidate for U.S. Senate uttered the following:

“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” she says. “I support what they do.”

But before you launch into a forehead-slapping frenzy that recalls Al Gore's claim he invented the internet, consider this:

She's got a point.

Here's how Samuel P. Jacobs, writing in the Daily Beast, explains it:

Warren’s boast isn’t bluster: As a professor of commercial law at Harvard and the force behind Obama’s consumer-protection bureau, Warren has been one of the most articulate voices challenging the excesses of Wall Street. Still, she enjoys an outsize celebrity for an academic and bureaucrat: a favorite guest of Jon Stewart, Warren, 62, has become a hero to the left, a villain to the right, and a fascination for everyone in between. Now that she is challenging Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, she has emerged this year as a poster child for what some of America loves, and an increasing swath of America hates, about the president.

But she's no lifetime lefty as many on the right like to believe (as Jacobs writes, former Reagan operative Jeffrey Lord calls her “a guileless, fevered Marxist").

Into her 40s, Warren was actually a Republican:

“I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore,” Warren says. “I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role.”

And, clearly, she's become an inspiration for those who share the viewpoints of many Occupy Wall Street protesters, as evidenced by this viral video the group is using to promote #OccupyWallStreet:

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