Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How well is Team Obama working?

Al Hunt says the economic team is not working well, leading Mickey Kaus to wonder whether Larry Summers will be pushed out.

I would be very surprised if that happened.  President Obama seems astute enough to recognize that Larry as an economic policy adviser is nonpareil.  Larry is simply too good to give up.

On the other hand, the job Larry has--NEC Director--traditionally has the responsibility of coordinatiing the policy process, which requires more people skills than deep insights into economic policy.  Maybe what the White House needs is a reorganization.  Put a hard-working but easy-going person like Jason Furman or Doug Elmendorf in charge of organizing the economic policy process and then give Larry a position such as "senior adviser" from which he can kibitz on a wide range of policy topics.  There is really no one better at asking the hard questions that need to be asked.