ABC News has learned that President-elect Obama had tapped University of California -Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer to be the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, an office within the Executive Office of the President.The Good News continued:
Romer, a widely respected economist with an expertise on the U.S. economy, will be one of [Obama's] key economic advisers.
Ellen Moran, executive director of EMILY's List, will serve as Obama's communications director.The Bad News:
Moran worked for the AFL-CIO, coordinating "Wal-Mart corporate accountability activities," before returning to EMILY's, an organization dedicated to helping Democratic women get elected to office.
Lawrence Summers, who Sunday was confirmed as president-elect Barack Obama's pick as his chief economic advisor ... would be director of the National Economic Council (NEC), would take on the role of chief presidential economic advisor as the world struggles to counter the still-expanding effects of the international financial crisis.Oof. The tonedeafness, it burns.
...He resigned [as president of Harvard University] in 2006 after relations with Harvard faculty broke down, in part leading from controversial remarks he made at a academic conference that "issues of intrinsic aptitude" could explain underrepresentation of women in the fields of science and engineering.
I'm a little concerned by the appearance (if not an explicit strategy) of choosing Romer (as part of the economic team) and/or Moran (as a public feminist) to counterbalance choosing Summers. It doesn't work that way.
And, apart from anything else, as Shaker rrp has wisely pointed out, choosing Summers also "signals a return to the fiscal policies that helped cause the credit meltdown."
Not good. On multiple levels.