Nomination Oversights May Be Obama’s Biggest Sin

Ezra Klein things a FHFA-driven mass mortgage refinancing scheme is unlikely because FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco seems skeptical and back when Obama tried to replace DeMarco with a permanent director “Senate Republicans blocked the Obama administration’s nominee, Joe Smith, after he expressed some support for using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to heal the housing market.”

What’s striking if you follow the link is that Obama didn’t even send Smith’s name to the Senate until November 12, 2010—basically two years after the election. The fact that the FHFA Director, though not the most important person in the universe, had an important role to play in managing the economic crisis seems to me to have been perfectly foreseeable. And it also seems to me to be overwhelmingly likely that had a nomination been made in a timely manner, confirmation by the 111th Senate would have been possible. Like the failure to make timely nominations to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors this isn’t something that people saw as a big deal at the time, but that in retrospect has enormous consequences.