Barack Obama just wrapped up his economic press conference, during which he introduced his economic team. In front of Timothy Geithner, Melody Barnes, Christina Romer, and Larry Summers, he extolled each of their virtues, particularly their deep and bipartisan policy experience. Of Barnes, his future Domestic Policy Council head, he said he admired her “brilliant legal mind.” (We admire her giant, fabulous hair.) While introducing Geithner, he talked about his diverse upbringing, in particular his understanding of Chinese and Japanese language and economics. Summers, his future National Economic Council chief, was described as a “thought leader.” (Summers responded by not smiling, but rather thinking as hard as he could. With all of his chins.) And Christina Romer, who will run his Council of Economic Advisers, totally teared up in the most adorable way during her own intro.
Their “work starts today,” Obama said. “Because the truth is, we do not have a minute to waste.” He added that the core of all of his economic policies would be a thriving middle class. During the question-and-answer period, he skirted questions over the size of his economic relief package and declined to specify when the Bush tax cuts would end. Overall, he cited the American people’s “spirit and optimism” as the key to long-term recovery.