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“Acolytes”

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"“Acolytes”"

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Eamon Javers’ piece on the continuing influence of Robert Rubin is pretty good, but I think the choice of a single word here sort of throws this paragraph off:

The long list of Rubin acolytes working for Obama includes National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, Geithner counselor Gene Sperling, Budget Director Peter Orszag, Deputy Assistant to the President Michael Froman (who worked with Rubin at Treasury and at Citigroup), National Economic Council official Jason Furman, Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and Gary Gensler, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Summers and many of the other officials also get regular phone calls from Rubin.

Another way of putting this would be to say that many economic policy officials in the Obama administration were also economic policy officials in the Clinton administration. But of course any administration is going to have many veterans of earlier administrations at senior levels. Guys like Gene Sperling, Jason Furman, and Peter Orszag may have worked under Rubin at one point, but they’re hardly “acolytes”—they’re accomplished people in their own right who’ve served in key jobs and are all strong-minded independent thinkers. The idea of Larry Summers being anyone’s “acolyte” is almost laughable.

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