It was just a game of golf!
Ever since he played golf with President Barack Obama last week, New York newspapers have been rife with speculation that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being wooed by the administration to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary.
The White House dismissed the speculation as fantasy and Bloomberg dismissed the idea. But still as summer draws to an end, what else is there to talk about going into the Labor Day holiday weekend except the lackluster U.S. economy?
More bad news for Obama on Friday with the unemployment rate rising to 9.6 percent. The economy is not creating jobs fast enough to reduce the unemployment rate and give Democrats more comfort going into the Nov. 2 congressional elections with their majority in Congress at stake.
Some pundits suggest the gossip may be less about Bloomberg, who is serving a hard fought third term as mayor, and more about Geithner, who has come under fire from both the right and the left about his advice to Obama on the economy and the role he played in the 2008 government rescue of Wall Street.
As White House economic adviser Christina Romer leaves her post on Friday, following the departure of Peter Orszag as head of the Office of Management and Budget at the end of July, Obama so far is standing by his treasury secretary.
Would he really want to follow the advice of House Republican Leader John Boehner and fire Geithner and his National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers just before an election that could put Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives?
Besides, some of the sourcing on the raft of speculation about Bloomberg has been thin as noted by a New York Magazine item pointing to a source used by another publication as ”one Democrat, who may or may not be the mayor’s hairstylist.”
Photo Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stand together at Rose Garden remarks on the economy, and Geithner talks on cellphone)