Rep. Brad Miller has decided not to run for Governor in North Carolina. The Congressman, who was basically redistricted out of his seat, has done a fairly remarkable thing; he stated that the higher office position didn’t match his skill set:
“After much consideration, I have decided not to run for Governor,” he said.
“My mother struggled as a widowed bookkeeper to make sure I had the opportunity for an education that was denied her and my father. We need a Governor who will fight the efforts of Republicans in the legislature to close those doors of opportunity by their assault on public education,” Miller continued. “But the issues I have worked on in Congress for a decade are the injustice and dysfunction in our nation’s economy.”
That’s just rare, for a politician to know their limitations, or at least their best assets, like that.
So what can we do for Mr. Miller to find him a place to work on the “injustice and dysfunction in our nation’s economy”? Some have suggested that Miller should take over at the FHFA for Ed DeMarco, who many progressives want fired for his resistance to principal reduction through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among other things. Even HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has begun to pressure DeMarco over principal write-downs. So there’s a mood to change policy if not personnel at the top of the Administration, and Miller would potentially fit in well there.
I have another idea. The RMBS working group, the task force co-chaired by Eric Schneiderman looking into fraud in the securitization process for loans, needs a staff director. Miller would obviously be a high-profile appointment to that, and he would probably need to resign from Congress. But he’s a lame duck there, and he knows the mortgage industry as well as anyone in public life. Moreover, the staff director position would not be a Presidential appointment at all, while the President would need to recess-appoint Miller at FHFA.
I believe Miller would do some really good things at FHFA. His plan for a modern-day HOLC still stands, and he could probably come up with some creative ways to carry that out. But maybe he would also like to be the next Ferdinand Pecora.