early and often

Hillary Clinton Needs a Better Comeback for That Greenspan Line


Photo: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s idea of creating a federal “emergency group” of advisers like Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan, who would deal with the mortgage crisis, was barely out of her mouth before everyone started jumping down her throat: Why Rubin? They wanted to know asked. Didn’t he spend the past year advising Citigroup into the ground? And why, of all people, Greenspan? Isn’t he the one who created the credit bubble that led us into this mess in the first place? But wait, we said to ourselves. Hold up. This is Hillary Clinton. Surely she will have a line of argument prepared to defend this controversial plan. Surely she will say something to deftly deflect the criticism. Because Hillary is nothing if not prepared, right?

Remember all that time we spent complaining that she was “too rehearsed”?

Well. Apparently that’s not the case anymore, because when the Philadelphia Daily News asked Clinton yesterday why she would pick Greenspan to do this job, she said she didn’t know. It was like, she just knew his name and that he had something to do with the economy and thought that, you know, it sounded kind of presidential.

He has a calming influence still to this day on Wall Street — don’t ask me why because I never understand what he’s saying — but nevertheless people respond to that Delphic oracle approach. I think it would be wise to include him. And recently he’s come out, and very smartly so, that we have to deal with housing and maybe we need to have some kind of buyout mechanism for mortgages. So he’s moved on his understanding and depth of the problem — but you know you could pick three others. You just have to have some demonstrable involvement of presidential leadership.”

Oh, cool, we can pick three others? How about Angelo Mozilo, Chuck Prince, and Stan O’Neal? They all know a little something about high-risk mortgages. Crikey, lady.

Clinton’s “Delphic oracle” Alan Greenspan [Attytood]

UPDATE: This post has been corrected from the previous version, which incorrectly stated that Clinton suggested Rick Rubin for her economic emergency group. While many have pinned their hopes on the bearded music producer save the recording industry, Clinton understands that expecting him to handle the mortgage crisis as well would be asking a little too much.

Hillary Clinton Needs a Better Comeback for That Greenspan Line