James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Heck of a job, Larry (Summers)

October 28, 2010

This, to me, is the money exchange from President Obama’s appearance last night on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart:

Stewart: I remember thinking well that seems like the exact same person and why would you … so in some respects I get your frustration with this idea that ‘Well jeez, are you never satisfied?’ But again, the expectation I think was audacity going in there and really rooting out a corrupt system and so the sense is has reality of what hit you in the face when you first stepped in caused you to back down from some of the more visionary … like bringing a guy like Larry Summers …

Obama: First of all … if you look at how we have handled this financial crisis — if you had told two years ago that we’re going to be able to stabilize the system — stabilize the stock market, stabilize the economy — and by the way — at the end of this thing it, will cost less than 1% of GDP … I’d say we’ll take that because we saved taxpayers a whole lot of money. And in fairness, Larry Summers did a heck of a job trying to figure out how to …

Stewart: You don’t want to use that phrase dude.

Obama: Pun intended. Larry was integral in helping to think through some really complicated stuff.

Me:  Liberals like Jon Stewart really loathe the outgoing White House economic adviser. They blame him  for, in their view, a too small stimulus and for financial reform that wasn’t much harsher on the banks. And as Stewart alluded, they despise Summers role as part of  of the pro-market, pro-deregulation, anti-deficit Clinton Gang.  In fact, they view pretty much the entire Obama economic team as way too centrist and a betrayal of his campaign promises. No wonder Republicans are way more enthusiastic going into the midterm elections.

Comments

I blame “Heckuva Job Summers” for his antipathy to infrastructure investment. Even when he claims to support it, he limits that support to projects which can be completed, from conception to ribbon-cutting, within one year.

At least Brownie seemed to recognize he was failing and felt bad about it.

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