Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may have read his political obituary
this morning. Prized by the White House for battling the crisis but despised by Republicans and some liberal Democrats
for his perceived Wall Street bias, Bernanke's reappointment never looked like a shoo-in. But the surprisingly sweeping
fallout from Republican Scott Brown's election
to Ted Kennedy's Senate seat on Tuesday seat continues with reports
that Bernanke may now lack the votes. Could Congress boot
Bernanke from the post that won him Time person of the year
and Foreign Policy's thinker of the year
? Should they? His term is up January 31.
- Human Sacrifice to Populist Rage ABC's Jake Tapper sighs, "Voter anger is of heightened concern to members of Congress given the
surprise victory of Sen.-elect Scott Brown, R-Mass., who rode a tide of
voter discontent and economic anxiety to an upset victory in a special
election earlier this week." ABC's Rick Klein evaluates, "A full embrace of economic populism, with all that means for policy
and politics, isn't happening any time soon. But a pivot like this --
even if it's driven by Congress, as opposed to the White House --
almost requires casualties."
- Liberals Push Back Against Obama AmericaBlog's John Aravosis cheers
the "remarkable amount of spine suddenly arising from congressional
liberals." Aravosis says voting out Bernanke would prove that
"Democrats in Congress want to keep their jobs more than they want to
keep the White House happy."
It Should Come Down To Bank Limits Writing in the Daily Beast, economist Simon Johnson says the key issue should Bernanke's stance on Obama's bank limit proposals. "In almost every conceivable scenario for financial-sector reform,
Bernanke would have the power either to make the regulation of scale
and scope meaningless--"do a Greenspan"--or lead the way toward
implementing sensible constraints on finance."
- About More Than Just Bernanke Reuters's James Pethokoukis writes
that votes against Bernanke represent a backlash against the entire
White House economic team. "Liberals in Congress want him gone. Then
again, they want pretty much
the whole Obama economic team gone. But Geithner and Summers aren't up
for a Senate vote. Bernanke is. And if Dems start bailing, don't expect
Republicans to save him. No politician in America gains anything by
voting for Bernanke."
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