Prior to being a US senator, Elizabeth Warren was a law school Professor at Harvard. Just as in Washington, she excelled at her work, being one of the most cited scholars on bankruptcy law, which was her specialty at Harvard.
In 1998 she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times. The subject of the piece was pending bankruptcy reform legislation that was winding it's way through congress at the time. The legislation was pushed by the credit card companies, and the goal was to make it more difficult for consumers to write off their personal debt. Professor Warren excoriated the bill as a severe threat to women, and particularly single mothers. First lady Hillary Clinton read the op-ed, and requested a meeting with with Warren.
It was the first time Clinton had ever met Elizabeth Warren. They met alone, and Hillary asked Warren for the details of the legislation, how it changed the law, and how it would affect the consumers. At the end of the briefing, Clinton stood up and said: "Professor Warren, we've got to stop that awful bill."
At the time, Bill Clinton was planning to sign the bill as a goodwill gesture to Republicans and business interests. Hillary changed his mind, and it was a huge victory for working class Americans, and particularly for women. Hillary would go on to write about the bill in her memoir as first lady..."Missing from this debate, I discovered, was any discussion of what happens to women and children who depend on legally required child and spousal support that is not being paid."
Unfortunately for single mothers, the credit card industry was not going to take the defeat sitting down. Just a few years later almost the exact same bill sprouted again. This time, Hillary Clinton was a senator from New York, and unfortunately for single mothers, like Dick Cheney during the Vietnam war, Ms. Clinton had other priorities. Instead her focus in 2004 and 2005 was on the financial industry that made up her largest donors in her successful campaign for senate. She went against most of her Democratic colleagues and did not vote to oppose the bankruptcy bill which is now law. Here is Elizabeth Warren telling the story in her own words:
As an aside, the senior Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden also voted for the bill on behalf of the credit card companies which take advantage of Delaware's credit card company friendly laws to setup shop. In fact, Warren had some unkind words about Joe Biden as a faculty member at Harvard as well. Which of the current presidential candidates voted against the bill? Only Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders.