Analyst says Fed appointment shows limits of Obama's sway

Ken Rudin
Ken Rudin, former political editor for NPR News
Courtesy Doby Photography/NPR

The withdrawal of Lawrence Summers as President Obama's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve "shows the limits that President Obama has in trying to staff the people he wants closest to him," says Political Junkie Ken Rudin.

Rudin, former political editor for NPR, told The Daily Circuit that Summers' nomination was doomed by his failure to win support on the Senate Banking Committee, particularly from Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Jon Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

"If President Obama didn't have the support of the Democrats on the committee, he was not going to turn to the Republicans to rescue the nomination, given what the Republicans would have demanded to save Summers," Rudin said.

"President Obama just came off a debate over Syria where he couldn't have the support of his own party, he couldn't get the support of his own party with Larry Summers. He said, look, this guy has guided me through the financial crisis, the Wall Street crisis of 2008, he was invaluable to me. But a lot of opponents say, forget about his personality, but his philosophy is not what's needed right now to save the economy."

Rudin said the administration's most likely next choice is Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Federal Reserve. She's held that job for a decade and would be the first woman to head the Fed. "But the Obama administration's made it clear from the beginning they're not crazy about her, they're not enthusiastic about her," Rudin said. "But they really don't have many other choices."

Rudin is a regular Monday morning visitor on The Daily Circuit.

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