Will Timothy Geithner be whatever America needs him to be?
Timothy Geithner on whether he's afraid of being fired:
I spent most of my professional life in this building. Watching the politics of the things we did in the past financial crises in Mexico and Asia had a powerful effect on me. The surveys were 9-to-1 against almost everything that helped contain the damage. And I watched exceptionally capable people just get killed in the court of public opinion as they defended those policies on the Hill. This is a necessary part of the office, certainly in financial crises. I think this really says something important about the president, not about me. The test is whether you have people willing to do the things that are deeply unpopular, deeply hard to understand, knowing that they're necessary to do and better than the alternatives. We'll be judged on how we dealt with the things that were broken in the country. We broke the back of the worst financial panic in three generations, more effectively and at a much lower cost than I think anybody thought was possible.
In this telling, the role of the Treasury Secretary is a lot like the role of Batman at the end of 'Batman: The Dark Knight.' Which is not to say it's wrong.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari.
December 28, 2009; 7:52 AM ET
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