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Talking Points on the Designation of Christina D. Romer as the Candidate to Be Nominated by President Obama to the Senate for the Post of Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers

  • World-class expert on the Great Depression: if you want to avoid any of the mistakes made during the Great Depression, she is the one to hire.
  • World-class expert on monetary and fiscal policy: encyclopedic knowledge of their history--since we need a CEA chair who knows more about stabilization policy than about tax or labor or industrial organization policy.
  • Very good at explaining economics: great similarities between teaching Econ 1 and teaching the White House staff about economics.
    • Very good at making people believe that relatively complicated ideas about economics are simple facts of nature.
  • Bush moved the CEA staff out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building:
    • A very bad thing because the CEA staff can no longer look over the shoulders of the White House staff and offer advice.
    • CDR should demand, as a condition of appointment, that at least her two deputies have offices in the White House complex.
  • A center-left moderate:
    • But these are not moderate times. To be moderate now is to be radical. To be radical is to be moderate.
  • A woman who taught her then-two year old that the answer to the question "Who should be president?" was "Bruce Babbitt."

Other appointees:

  • Geithner, Summers, Orszag--world-class appointments; at least as well qualified as anybody else in the world for these jobs.
  • Who is going to be the consensus-builder?
    • You need a person to build a happy consensus among economic policy advisers.
    • If you don't have a builder of the happy consensus, then you have a situation in which lobbyists, spin-doctors, and rogue vice presidents have points of entry in order to make bad policy.