The chances are good, but not guaranteed, that Elizabeth Warren will secure a highly coveted seat on the Senate Banking Committee, a move that would dramatically elevate her campaign against Wall Street excess.
If she gets the slot, Warren's bully pulpit would be replaced with real power.
The bipartisan panel can greatly influence policy decisions through its oversight of financial services, international trade, insurance, housing, securities and economic issues.
Warren, who has called for breaking up the big banks, could move to block legislative tweaks to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law that would blunt the full impact of profit-pummeling reforms.
She would also be able to forcefully push for regulators to use all the powers available to them to write strict interpretations of rules.
That could mean stronger curbs on Wall Street trading, higher capital buffers and rules that would compel mega-banks to shrink.
A spokeswoman for Warren did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid likely won't start considering committee assignments until the new year. Still, one Senate Democratic aide predicted that if Warren wants to be on the banking panel, the odds are good she'll get it.
"The leadership and committee chairmen usually work together to try to accommodate incoming senators' preferences, within reason," the aide told Reuters.
"If Senator-elect Warren indicates she'd like to serve on the banking committee, given her prominent work on those issues, she would certainly have a very good shot."
She made regular television appearances railing against Wall Street and mega-banks, a habit that made her bankers' public enemy No. 1.
"The biggest impact I think would be for the mortgage and credit card industries," said Joseph Engelhard, a senior vice president for Capital Alpha. "She'll be pushing the CFPB to be a really tough regulator and examiner of the big banks."
Still, a seat on Senate Banking is still not guaranteed, one senior Democratic committee aide warned.
There are numerous factors that go into committee assignments, from just the basic math of how an election outcome will change a committee's ratio to whether there is competition among current sitting senators for openings.
At least two Democratic spots on the panel have opened up after both Senators Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii decided to leave the Senate.
But aides and analysts who follow the Hill say that Warren may have some tough competition for the slots.
Names being floated around town include Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, as well as Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, just to name two.
Jason Rosenstock, the director of government relations for ML Strategies, said that generally incoming freshmen are not placed on priority "A" committees like banking, though more recently there have been exceptions and first-time senators have landed seats.
Wall Street gadfly Warren stands good chance of Senate banking seat | Reuters