Friday, August 6, 2010

The Problem With Larry Summers

Ezra Klein lays out the case against Larry Summers and why he shouldn't be heading President Obama's economic team. Its really compelling stuff.

The critique of Summers is very consistent, and it's really not about him or his vaunted arrogance. It's his position. Summers runs the National Economic Council, which is the body charged with coordinating the president's economic process. But Summers, for all his brilliance and charm, is not the guy you want running meetings and smoothing disagreements and making people feel included. Summers doesn't facilitate debates. He wins them. He wants to be the guy Obama listens to, not the guy who listens to everyone else, and to a large degree, he is.

Over time, this has led to problems in the White House's economic process: People get left out, the lines of authority aren't always clear, and the guy who's supposed to be worrying about all that stuff is instead trying to get the president over to his side of the argument. This has made the White House economic process an unpleasant place to be, particularly if you're not one of the few who have a truly direct connection to the president.

One things for damn sure, with the economy still teetering back and forth and the bad jobs numbers that came out today, President Obama should be hearing from EVERYBODY on his team. Not just the people Summers thinks he should hear from.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Come Hard Or Not At All!