Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Internecine Strife

Someone's been spilling some of the beans about the fights within the Obama economic team. The Times has the scoop, including:
[Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina] Romer was joking, she said in an interview, adding, “There are only a few times that I felt like smacking Larry.” Yet few laughed in the president’s presence.
"Larry" being National Economic Council chair Lawrence Summers.

Could it be that the other other members of the economic team resent the "brilliant but supercilious" Summers because he got a better office? That's what the graphic accompanying the article seems to imply: Of course, intra-administration battles over economic policy are nothing new... indeed, it would be strange if there wasn't any. TNR has a slideshow of the "Economic Feuds" in administrations going back to FDR.

As Matthew Yglesias notes, the real question is who is leaking and why?

The all-time classic of the economic advisor leak genre remains William Greider's 1981 Atlantic Monthly piece wherein David Stockman reveals the existence of the "magic asterisk."

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