Summers’ Time and the Leaving is Easy

From The Washington Post:

President Obama‘s top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, will step down as director of the National Economic Council after the November elections and return to a teaching post at Harvard University, the White House announced Tuesday.

The departure of Summers, 55, will complete the turnover of three of Obama’s four top economic advisers as the administration struggles with the political fallout of a stubbornly weak economy.

Original DVD cover

Summers’s exit had been in the works for months, White House officials said. A Treasury secretary in the Clinton adminstration who later served as president of Harvard, Summers initially agreed to join the Obama White House for just one year to help the new president navigate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Passed over when Obama reappointed Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Summers nonetheless agreed to stay on at the White House to supervise passage of a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory structure, which Obama signed into law earlier this year. But he informed the president that he would return to teaching in January 2011.


Congressional Republicans – and some Democrats – have been […] critical of Summers’s tenure. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) recently called on Obama to fire both Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, accusing the White House of pursuing misguided economic policies that ran up record deficits without creating jobs or significantly improving the economy.

Many prominent economists have rebutted that view, arguing that Obama’s economic policies prevented last year’s recession from turning into a depression. Still, with unemployment at 9.6 percent and Democrats getting battered in the polls, even some administration loyalists say they were surprised that it has taken so long for Obama to recast his message on the economy and reshape his economic team.


[Summers’] departure leaves Geithner as the sole member of the economic team that arrived with Obama when he took office in January 2009. Budget director Peter Orszag left in July, and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, left earlier this month.

In both cases, Obama turned to administration insiders to fill the vacancies. He chose Jacob Lew, a former Clinton budget director and current deputy secretary of state for management, to replace Orszag. The Senate is expected to confirm the nomination within the next few weeks. For CEA chair, Obama chose Austan Goolsbee, a current CEA member and one of Obama’s longest-serving advisers. Goolsbee does not require Senate confirmation.

Replacing Summers is likely to be more difficult. Summers brings a hard-to-match gravitas to the post, given his reputation as a supremely talented economist and a practiced Washington insider.


As Obama gears up for the 2012 reelection campaign, administration officials need both a fresh face on the economy and someone who can craft a credible vision for creating jobs and restoring the nation’s economic vitality. Sources said the White House is considering whether to choose a candidate who could blunt criticism that the administration has been anti-business, such as a corporate chieftain or prominent investor.


Obama is unlikely to choose a replacement for Summers until later in the year, a White House official said.


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22 responses to “Summers’ Time and the Leaving is Easy

  1. Someone should pay you a lot to write headlines! Geithner looks so creepy. 😆

    • didja like that? i was kinda proud of that headline. there are times when i’m proud of a headline, and nobody gets it but me. thanks for getting it, melissa. 😀

      • I did. And yw. 🙂 The poster title is great, too. When I read it, I hear it as music…the Motels’ song, Suddenly last summer.

        • i don’t think i ever watched this movie, but for some reason, when i read summers was leaving, it immediately sprang to mind, as did the title. usually i have to sweat over finding a movie and thinking up a title. it should be a law that people in public office should have easily adaptable names. of course, the fekkin’ rethugs will vote no in lockstep. bastards!

  2. Kip

    Great song. Geithner does look creepy!

  3. Good riddance. May there be a race between him and Rahm for the door.

  4. Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high. The only one I can ever remember is Timmy aka TIMMY! My take on economics has always been some money, little money, or no money. But on the bright side, I never fear the words the hard core gopers tremble at hearing: Earnings failed to meet analysts expectations…tragic, isn’t it.

    • timmeh!! i just commented over at the big orange that fish aren’t jumpin’, the cotton ain’t high, and very few daddies are rich. my take on economics is pretty much like yours–how much money do i have, and how much will it cost me to live? it’s down to basics, because the basics are all i can afford.

      • And sadly, when we get to the point where living under a bridge is the last option, you find out that jerkasses like Rick Perry have sold the tax built and paid highway to “investors”. This is a touchy subject in Texas and should be. Why do you give existing roadways away to rich people? They ARE doing it! Now if we can just privitize the public water supply and let the “investors” run it…how much would you pay for a glass of water on a 100 degree day? Now that’s freedom in goperland,

        • i think gov little ricky goodhair does testing for all the rethug stupid ideas. i guess in texas there’s nobody to stop him at the moment. hopefully, the veto pen will land in bill white’s hand.

          • jeb

            Ah good old Ricky Goodhair. I read this in an article the other day and you can imagine my shock that the Emporer of Texas might not be the prudent steward of tax dollars we all thought he was:

            “Wasteful Spending on Bodyguards Watch: TMQ rails against the trend for minor government officials, including mayors, state-agency directors and public university presidents, to have taxpayer-funded bodyguards — not for any real security need but to make themselves seem more important. A reader from Indianapolis reports, “My wife works for a hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, attended the Indy 500 and stayed at her hotel. He brought eight Texas State Troopers with him, and had one on guard outside his hotel room at all times, as though he was the prime minister of a Middle Eastern nation. Indiana’s governor, Mitch Daniels, rode his own motorcycle in the Indy 500 Festival Parade and had no bodyguards or police escort.” Perry, the Texas governor, is renowned for railing against government waste. But, like so many politicians, Perry thinks “waste” is spending on other people, while for himself, he expects unlimited public largesse. “

            • and the moronic teabaggers will defend him. gov. little ricky goodhair is a wannabe rock star. either that, or he’s scared shitless of someone finding out what he’s doing in hotel rooms.

  5. Joanaroo

    Gotta love how Bo(eh)ner is so ready to jump on the Dems about deficits and spending, but the brain-dead Rethugs conveniently forget their butthead Bushies and Saint Ronnie got us in this shit! They sure as hell aren’t going to help a damn if these idiotic Tea Baggers and the half-dead Rethugs get in, but how do you tell the stupid, uneducated, witchcraft and no masturbation crowd that? What a load of crap this country has for some of its citizens, and what a load of horseshit it’ll be if these morons get in!

    • even erick erickson over at redstate said that this pledge to america is nothing but a crock of crap. of course, he’ll still vote rethuglican, because the hate in him is too strong to resist.

  6. Poverty has taken a serious turn and the repubs do everything they can to make it worse. For Summers replacement, I’d like to see someone for the people rather than, as suggested, a candidate who could “blunt criticism that the administration has been anti-business, such as a corporate chieftain or prominent investor. We’ve had enough insiders!

    It’s Geither’s time to leave, too.

    Good job, nonnie!

    • instead of a corporate chieftain or prominent investor, they’d be better off with a middle-class nobody who clips coupons and looks for deals in order to eke out a living month to month. that person would know the price of milk and how much the electric bill is, and s/he’d teach the politicians a thing or two about being responsible with money.

  7. “Sources said the White House is considering whether to choose a candidate who could blunt criticism that the administration has been anti-business, such as a corporate chieftain or prominent investor.”

    What?? They better find Obe-frickin’-Wan Kanobe and fast; the grotesque disparity in the just distribution of wealth which has created economic injustice on an unprecedented scale, must be addressed in policy changes going forward, no matter how vociferous the Con’tard right becomes, blathering on about socialism, marxism and all the other bullshit their corpulent overlords brainwash them with.
    The shit has hit the fan.

    PS: Whadaya gonna do will all those cleverness awards you get from great headlines like that, nonnie?

    • amen, terry. they need to clone elizabeth warren. if something isn’t done soon about the disparity of wealth in this country, the rich had better stay in their gated communities, because it’s just a matter of time before the peasants revolt.

      p.s. props had a pretty good headline on the subject, too!