There is one heartening thing that we can take from President-Elect Barack Obama's appointment of controversial ex-Harvard President Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council. In the face of some opposition from those within his coalition, Obama appointed Summers to the role. It follows that the former Clinton Treasury secretary Summers was so far and away best man for the job that Obama and his advisors completely dismissed whatever negative political fallout would come from Summers' past gaffes. In other words, it doesn't matter what you've done — if you think you can fix the economic situation we're in, welcome on board! And, as it turns out, Summers and Obama Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner have other unique qualifications to save America:Summers has been a part of the Obama campaign all along, and he was a big supporter of the government bailout plan passed by Congress last month. He is of course more famous for his remarks about the capabilities of women in the sciences. The former Treasury Secretary did apologize, but you have to think Obama is hoping that putting Hillary Clinton in the most prominent Cabinet role and naming Arizona pol Janet Napolitano as the new secretary of Homeland Security will distract feminists from attacking the administration's other choices. With the amount of goodwill he has right now, it probably won't even matter. Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary was Timothy Geithner, and although he's new to this level of public scrutiny, his last job was head of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Geithner is the kind of guy you'll be seeing a lot of in the Obama administration. Schooled at Henry Kissinger's consulting firm in Washington after his graduate work at Johns Hopkins, Geithner is no bookish econimist, a trait he shares with the fiery Summers. As The Economist notes, Geithner is far from the staid type:
Mr Geithner looks a lot younger than his 47 years (though not as young as he did before the crisis began). He skateboards and snowboards and exudes a sort of hipster-wonkiness, using "way" as a synonym for “very” as in “way consequential” and occasionally underlining his point with the word "fuck".