by Jeff Sovern
In her written testimony, and again in her oral testimony, Kathy Kraninger, the president's nominee to head the CFPB, promised to be transparent and accountable. But her testimony yesterday, in which she said giving her personal opinion was not appropriate, was anything but. Don't take my word for it; here's how one industry blog, AccountsRecovery.net, put it:
[W]hat I was watching wasn’t a hearing, it was a game of dodgeball. Kraninger had mastered the five D’s of dodgeball – dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.
Similarly, InsideARM.com's headline read BCFP Nominee Kathy Kraninger Doesn’t Give Much at Senate Hearing.
In a sense, confirmation hearings are hiring interviews. If Ms. Kraninger says so little during her interview, when she still wants the job, it seems unlikely that she will be either transparent or accountable once she has a five-year term in the position. I can't imagine a normal employer hiring someone who was willing to say so little about her views or her past actions. Of course, politics being what it is, it almost didn't matter what she said–or, to be more accurate, didn't say. It is hard to see how a person coming to the hearing without any prior views about Ms. Kraninger would vote for her after yesterday's stonewalling. Ms. Kraninger's refusal to answer questions was, to some extent, contemptuous of the Senate and the people whom it represents because such behavior makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the senators to discharge their constitutional duties to advise and consent. Not that the senators who will vote for her care. But I suppose if you object to an agency, and think it's appropriate that it be run by a part-timer, you wouldn't care much about whether a candidate knows about what the agency regulates or parries legitimate inquires during her hearing. A shame.