White House Economic Team Hugs It Out

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Photo: Getty Images

You might have noticed there was little awkwardness last week among members of Obama's economic advisory team. More than usual, we mean. Suffice it to say that certain people were a little bit upset about being unceremoniously pushed to the side during the president's big "Screw Wall Street, we're going to fix this thing" speech. About not even being acknowledged while weak-chinned Paul Volcker, who has been completely MIA for like a year got a freaking rule named after him. Feelings were hurt, and emotions were high, and the next thing Tim Geithner knew he was running his mouth to CNBC about how he felt misunderstood, like people think he's a patsy for the banks, like maybe even the president does, he's not sure? “I think most people believe I spent my life working in an investment bank,” he said, befuddled. “I've spent my life in public service. I don't understand that perception." But over the weekend something happened.

We don't know if there were beers or hoops or manly bro-hugs involved, but as of today the econ gang is back in the circle of trust, according to various news reports. First of all, in a departure from letting spokesperson Robert Gibbs unconvincingly tell everyone everything was cool, Politico reports, the president personally made a few calls to check in on his broheim Ben Bernanke, to make sure he was was still "on track," for the confirmation for a second term this week, "and he was assured he was." And Geithner, who is set to be reamed in front of the House Oversight Committee regarding the back-door bailouts of AIG and cover-ups that may or may not have occurred, got a ringing endorsement from Rahm Emanuel in the Times this morning:

"Tim Geithner helped steer the financial sector and the entire economy through the worst crisis since the Great Depression," Mr. Emanuel said in an interview. "He's not going anywhere."

Rahm! That means something. Feeling good, Geithner paid it forward by giving Bernanke a shout-out to Politico:

“He’s done a remarkable job of helping steer this economy out of the Great Recession. And I think he’ll play a very important role in helping in the success of our efforts to try to make sure we are bringing this economy back to durable growth.”

Bernanke planned this morning to tell the Washington Post that he couldn't have done anything without Geithner, that he was his rock and he completes him, but he couldn't speak through the tears.

For Top Economic Aides, a Shaky Week in Office [NYT]
Geithner 'very confident' on Bernanke [Politico]