Obama Should Pick an NEC Director Who Will Do A Good Job Of Helping Formulate Economic Policy

Alan Mascarenhas, in a tragically typical piece of political journalism, suggests that what Obama really needs in a Larry Summers replacement is not a woman or a CEO but rather “a top-notch communicator, someone who can make the case for the administration’s economic policies and sell a clear message over the din of Tea Party vitriol.”

I hate to be boring, but what Obama really needs is someone who’ll do a good job. Coordinating economic policy is difficult. And important. And “the case for the administration’s economic policies” will become more compelling if the economic situation improves and not otherwise. People don’t listen to the President talk and they certainly don’t listen to the National Economic Council chief. FDR’s economic message was very compelling in 1936 because the economy was growing rapidly. Ronald Reagan had the same advantage in 1984 and so did Bill Clinton in 1996.