But but but…. male bloggers explained to me that Obama’s campaign showed he had superior executive skills! (Even though, you know, the candidates don’t actually run their own campaigns.) But whatever. I’m sure if the whole thing was replayed again, people would take exactly the same positions:
A new book claims that the Obama White House is a boys’ club marred by rampant infighting that has hindered the administration’s economic policy and left top female advisers feeling excluded from key conversations.
“Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” by journalist Ron Suskind due out next Tuesday, details the rivalries among Obama’s top economic advisers, Larry Summers, former chairman of the National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. It describes constant second-guessing by Summers, now at Harvard, who was seen by others as “imperious and heavy-handed” in his decision-making.
[…] On the economy, one key claim the book makes is that Geithner failed to follow through on a March 2009 order to look into dissolving Citigroup, and Obama realized that “the speed with which the bureaucracy could exercise my decision was slower than I wanted.”
A senior Treasury official pushed back against the book’s claims, saying that Suskind’s account of Geithner dragging his feet on on Obama’s Citigroup directive is simply untrue.
In the book Geithner also denies that he ignored Obama’s order, but the book offers a portrait of a president who was outmaneuvered by Beltway insiders, according to Suskind.
“The Citibank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president’s authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by seasoned advisers,” the book says.
Key decisions over the size of the February 2009 stimulus package and the restructuring of major banks were all hampered by disagreements, and left Obama’s advisers feeling adrift.
By the way, Ron Suskind is an excellent journalist.