Meet the Press brings us the words of Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, in which the wisdom and brilliance of Obama administration stands revealed!
'MR. GREGORY: There's an effort across the administration to sound more confident about the economy. The president, speaking on Friday, said this:
PRES. OBAMA: If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, then we're going to get through this. And I'm very confident about that.
MR. GREGORY: And yet last year during the campaign, Senator John McCain said something similar. This is what he said back then.
(Videotape, September 15, 2008)
SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): You know that there's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street, and it is--it's--people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think--still, the fundamentals our--of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult time.
MR. GREGORY: So back then during the campaign when Senator McCain talked about the strong fundamentals of the economy, it was then-candidate Obama and his team that roundly criticized McCain, saying he was out of touch, he didn't get it, he didn't understand how bad the economy was. And yet now the president's talking about the strong fundamentals of the economy. So what's different between then, the campaign, and now, except for the fact that the economy's gotten dramatically worse?'
Yes, do tell. Besides being worse, what is different, exactly? Ah, well, nothing really -- about the economy that is. It's the situation that's different A different focus.
'DR. ROMER: I think when the president says he's focusing on fundamentals, what he means is, is we're focusing on, on fixing the fundamentals; that we've always said we're not looking at the ups and downs of the stock market, we're looking for those crucial indicators: when are jobs turning around, when are sales turning around, when do we see consumers coming to life? That's the kind of thing that--certainly that I'm looking at in terms of when's the economy going to be doing better and, and when can we see some hope.'
This administration will focus on fixing the fundamentally sound aspects of the economy. I confess, that's what I've been afraid of. There's this liberal penchant for finding brilliance in paradox, and there's a good chance liberals will find brilliance in the theory that it's the fundamentally sound aspects that need to be fixed. Hello, Great Depression.
Our paradox does provide opportunity for the administration to showcase its mastery of nuance. And how fortunate for the Obama administration. It hasn't been all that impressive with the more mundane aspects leadership, like filling out cabinet posts.
'MR. GREGORY: Right. So what's the problem? Where are they? You just had four people withdraw their nomination, including, including Rodge Cohen, who is one of the most senior people on Wall Street as a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, who's advised all of these, all of these banks, and now he's pulled out.
DR. ROMER: I think one thing to realize, the--that the Obama administration is doing business in a different way. And we do have very strict rules on, you know, sort of the, the kinds of vetting requirements and whether you can have been a lobbyist and things like that. And it does tie your hands on some of the people you can hire. But we think the, the administration has made the decision it's worth it to have honesty and accountability and, and a sense of confidence for the American people.'
It must be those new vetting requirements that are giving them fits. The one about paying taxes must be particularly problematic, since hardly anyone has been nominated since that troublesome tax paying requirement went into effect. Rest assured though, we American people are really confident in the honesty and accountability of our White House team.
Or maybe we miss the true brilliance of the Obama administration. Like a con artist with a talent for measuring a mark, the Obama administration has its measure of the American people. No need to worry about the contradictions. The American people are willing to believe.