Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, seeking a new term, seems to be running up against a Democratic Party eager - for ideological and political reasons - to strike a populist blow against those associated with Wall Street excess and the financial collapse.
Bernanke needs Senate confirmation. And two key Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer of California and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, have already come out against him. Now, Rhode Island's own Sheldon Whitehouse could be joining their ranks. He tells the Washington newspaper Roll Call that he is "not leaning favorably" toward another Bernanke term atop the Fed.
A rejection of Bernanke would be an unprecedented move.