Obama is doing his third press conference in as many days today, as he talks more about the economy, while rolling out new advisors. The latest names to get roles in his administration: Paul Volcker and Austan Goolsbee.
Volcker will head up a new panel consisting of 8-16 members that will advise Obama specifically on the financial crisis. It will meet up once per month, and will dissolve in two years. With any luck, its services won’t be needed at this point (we just knocked on wood with our foot).
Goolsbee was thought to have been the leading contender to head up the Council of Economic Advisors, though that post went to Christina Romer. There’s been some talk that the highly qualified Romer won the jump ball on that one due to her gender — with Goolsbee in, there would have been no woman in top econ roles — although nobody has disputed Romer’s qualifications. In fact, everyone we’ve read has been impressed. So Goolsebee will serve on the same board as Volcker in the role of staff director.
So Obama wants to send the message that he’s got lots and lots of bright economists talking to him (though this really gives him no excuse to make dumb choices, cause it’s not like he hasn’t been informed). Beyond that, he’s setting himself up to look like the FDR to Bush’s Hoover. It’s not like Bush and his top econ guys have been asleep at the wheel. There’s been a new bailout a day, including the TARP. But when you look at the various names coming in and new committees their forming, the perception will be that Obama is pointing all of his guns at the crisis.
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