President Obama today offered what one House Democrat called a ‘”full throated defense” of former economic adviser Larry Summers, raising speculation that he was signaling he may choose Summers to lead the Federal Reserve.
Obama held separate, private meetings today on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats. Liberals, including some in the media, have been antagonistic to the possibility of Summers becoming Fed Chairman, preferring current Vice Chairman Janet Yellin instead. Obama and some of his top White House aides are said to be leaning toward Summers, though Obama insists he has not made a decision.
Obama grumbled during the meeting that Summers had been unfairly treated by some on the left and the press, quipping, “Don’t believe everything you read in the Huffington Post.”
The White House immediately claimed Obama was only defending his former aide, not signaling his Fed choice.
“He was asked about criticism of one of his former top economic advisers,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “(Summers) was very much a part of the team that advised the president as the president made some extremely important decisions.”
During Obama’s session with Senate Democrats, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has been trying to work on legislation with Democrats and the White House, strolled into the meeting and was greeted with applause.