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White House Economic Adviser Goolsbee Resigns

by Keith Koffler on June 6, 2011, 9:17 pm

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee is resigning, the White House said tonight.

In a press release that seemed timed to appear after the evening newscasts, the White House gave no reason for Goolsbee’s departure, although it said he would return to Chicago in time to “return to his position” at the University of Chicago.

Austan Goolsbee

Austan Goolsbee in the East Room earlier this year with Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod. Photo by Keith Koffler

But having only assumed his current posting at the pinacle of economic power just last September, it can be assumed a heated desire to teach is not the main thing pushing Goolsbee out the door. He is either leaving for personal reasons – like his wife is tired of never seeing him – or he’s not getting along with someone at the White House.

It’s possible also, however, that this is the beginning of a few more departures we will see in coming weeks that will be caused by the upcoming campaign.

Any White House prefers not to have people leave during the campaign – obviously, it doesn’t look great. As occurred at about the same time during Bush’s first term, people are probably being asked to either leave now or commit to staying on through the election. It could be that Goolsbee didn’t want another full 18 months in the job.


He appears to be departing on good terms with President Obama, who issued a laudatory statement crediting Goolsbee with helping turn around the economy and calling him “one of America’s great economic thinkers.”

Likewise Goolsbee said of Obama:

I believe that his judgment, his courage in confronting the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and his commitment to the American people have made a tremendous difference for the nation.

I assume we should know more soon about why Goolsbee is really leaving. Though a loyal Obama adviser who has formally or informally advised the president for much of his career as a national politician, Goolsbee is a pro-free trade centrist, so it’s possible there were some things going on that he disagreed with.

Goolsbee had become the most visible CEA Chairman in recent memory. An amateur comedian and champion debater, he was adept at presenting confusing economic issues in a clear and even entertaining manner.

Whatever his prowess as an economist, the White House is losing an effective spokesman on the economy.

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srdem65 June 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

If the “tremendous difference” the Prez is referring to is the worst economic period since the ’30′s depression then we might agree. As for “turning around our economy”, MrGoolsbee should have checked the rear-view mirror before putting the Treasury in reverse.
His assertion that one month’s negative unemployment results or our dismal economic growth shouldn’t be the measure of America’s financial status was without integrity.
We’d like to have someone not afraid to tell the truth and stop the crapadoodle spin that no one believes.

Tom June 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Well put as only SRDEM can: “crapadoodle.” I laughed my — off when I read that along with “mind bleach”! SRDEM, your on a role!

Keith Koffler June 7, 2011 at 6:32 am

Tom, is srdem getting feisty again?

Star June 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

I take complete credit for hounding Austan out. Thank you, thank you–I just do what I can. (Someone married this guy?)

Star June 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

Maybe he is resuming his comedy career–not that he wasn’t darn funny.

Tom June 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

In the next week we’ll know. I’ve watched Goolsbee and thought he was funny, articulate and a bit quirky, but I like that in a person. It’s interesting to see (a.) why his departure is coming so close to the election and (b.) if, as you say, he pissed someone off in the WH. A free-trade centrist? Hmm. He may have gone head to head with the hardcore Keynsians ….

(Love the new edition Keith: The Dossier News Wire … look to your right folks…)

Keith Koffler June 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

Thanks Tom – & I agree w you on Goolsbee.

Brenda June 7, 2011 at 11:09 am
Susan June 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Believe there are two types of people in the Obama administration. His fellow travelers and the patsies. If your description of Goolsbee is accurate, he is most likely one of the latter.

Drudge linked to a story that Obama no longer gets daily economic briefings. Why is that? Perhaps because he has accomplished his goal of bringing America to her knees. Or maybe because he just doesn’t give a hoot.

Tom June 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm


Good point. Why should he care? Why should Bush II, Clinton, Bush I or Reagan have cared? Although each man had his good points/flaws, it didn’t matter. The MSM, the PR machine and the bumbling American body-politic created what each White House wanted: *legacy.* Each President had one. After he left the 1600 Pennsyvlania Avenue, he was set on the people’s dime, complete with “Presidential library” (read: Propaganda museum).

What we lack are politicians who speak the TRUTH, whether it be obivous, establishment-oriented or religious. Speak the truth, and be damned.

We used to have men and women (Jeanne Kirkpatrick comes to mind) who spoke truth to power. Now we have power-hungry narcissists who lack truth and tell lies to ingratiate themselves with a power-hungry, 24/7 driven media.

ol' gator June 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

way to go Tom, you hit it out of the park ! these politicians never seem to sincerely care about our exceptional country first.. its all about feeding their obsessive egos which need to be stroked well into retirement… to have the world stand & applaud their achievements which are ultimately built upon cheating, lies & manipulation.. how can “crapadoodles”sleep at night?

Keith Koffler June 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

People would respond so well to the truth. Look at Chris Christie in New Jersey. Though by the time the consultants and flacks got ahold of him, he’d probably be tamed as well.

sportinlife10 June 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

Isn’t Goolsbee married to Anita Dunn, Obama’s Propagandist-in-Chief?

Tom June 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

OMG … is that true? Is he married to Dunn? Anita Dunn is one of many Obama-Communists that were infatuated with meglomaniac’s like Mao Tse Tung (who helped exterminate nearly 60,000,000 Chinese and Chinese minorities, 1949-1969). Dunn called Mao “one of my idols.”

Susan June 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

Dunn is married to Bob Bauer, the former WH lawyer. He recently resigned his post to become Obama’s personal lawyer. Not sure who Goolsbee is married to.

Maryb June 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

Goolsbee is married to Robin Winters, a consultant with McKenzie. I think there are two reasons for his resignation…Valerie Jarrett (the true President) and the continuing poor numbers. Goolsbee doesn’t want his name attached to the perpetual stench that is emanating from the WH.

sportinlife10 June 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Bag over my head, Guys.

A.J. June 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

I saw some of clips of Goolsbee on last Sunday’s morning talk shows and I SWEAR he gagged a couple of times when he tried to explain how well the economy is doing thanks to the administration’s brilliant policies. Could it be he had the fatal flaw of honesty??????????

Keith Koffler June 7, 2011 at 10:31 am

Oh no. Please, AJ, not in Washington.

Star June 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

Tastes differ. I never could stand this guy–weasly. To me, anyhow.

Star June 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

And isn’t he a Canadian?

A.J. June 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Sorry, I must be off my meds again!!

Star June 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Nah–mileage may vary. I guess some people liked thie guy. PS Do meds help?