At a liberal think tank yesterday, Larry Summers delivered his last speech as President Obama's National Economic Council director. At the end of the year he'll return to Harvard to teach, leaving Washington in the rearview mirror, perhaps for good this time. As for his final impression:
Summers's final performance was very much in character. He arrived 10 minutes late for the speech, his suit jacket open, his shirt pulling tightly at the buttons, his suitpants stained on one of the knees. His hair showed signs of bedhead, but it could have been mussed by Summers during one of his morning meetings. He jiggled his legs while listening to the introduction by EPI President Larry Mishel, who had some edgy words for his guest. Although both men grew up in Philly, Mishel said, "when he moved to Boston, he adopted the Boston Red Sox as his baseball team. Me? I'm still a fan of the Fightin' Phils."
Summers rushed to rebut this point - by insulting the home team. "If I lived in Washington, I might still be a Phillies fan, too." There were groans in the audience.
Try not to miss him too much, Washington.