Spinning for Romney: Momma Always Told Me That If You Can't Say Something Nice Don't Say Anything at All Department
Robert Waldmann: contrasts Alan Blinder:
You definitely don’t want to draw attention to differences [in opinion] at all. You’re not helping the candidate. [The candidate] should know that you think he’s wrong on this or that, but you shouldn’t go blasting that to the media…
The candidate takes the policy position and you as an individual or economist might have some different ideas but you support the policies the candidate’s chosen. Once the decision’s made, you’re done.
And Glenn Hubbard:
Consider keeping Bernanke, top Romney adviser says: Glenn Hubbard, economic adviser to the Republican presidential candidate, said he would advise a possible President Romney that Bernanke should "get every consideration" to stay on beyond January 2014…. "Ben is a model technocrat. He gets paid nothing for getting kicked around all the time. I think they ought to pat him on the back…. I may or may not agree with him, but that's very different from saying I question his motives. I wish politicians would stop doing that…"
The context is Mitt Romney's declaration that Ben Bernanke does not share his economic views, and does not focus on "maintaining the monetary stability that leads to a strong dollar".
What Blinder leaves out is that it is not clear that you always want to help the candidate: perhaps the candidate's policies are so whacka-whacka that the candidate is the greater evil, or perhaps by drawing a line in the sand now you can materially increase the chances of better policies in the future for only a small chance of worse policies now.
What Holtz-Eakin leaves out is that an economic advisor's job is not "done" when a soundbite that sounds good to a spinmaster has been selected in the heat of the campaign, and that the fact that Holtz-Eakin thinks it is is a good argument for keeping him far from high federal office.
Glenn Hubbard is simply saying what he believes--and what I believe Romney believes--to be true.