Gold Star: Timothy Geithner
"We're doing more in weeks than other countries do in years."
Treasury Secretary Timothy M. Geithner made that pronouncement earlier this week after meetings with lawmakers to update them on the administration's recovery program. The not-so-subtle dig at the world financial community was part of his ongoing effort to convince his international counterparts that they must do more to address the economic crisis.
The treasury secretary spent his week defending the boss' plans to skeptical lawmakers behind closed doors, in front of several congressional committees, in television interviews and at public events with the president by his side. Today he's in London for meetings with G-20 finance ministers and will talk up American plans to bail out economies in crisis. All this after enduring a blisteringly accurate and well-performed impersonation of him on last weekend's "Saturday Night Live."
That's why Geithner earns the inaugural Federal Eye "Gold Star," as the Obama administration official who did the most this week to advance the president's agenda. The new feature could highlight the efforts of a White House staffer who expertly handled a tough TV interview or a cabinet secretary that appeared at multiple Congressional hearings or endured a potentially embarrassing photo-op for the sake of the president's programs. Some picks will be obvious, others less so. Either way, the weekly "Gold Star" pick does not amount to an endorsement of the administration's policies or the official's work.
So why Geithner? Well for starters, the secretary's schedule this week certainly proves he's been working hard. And while some critics assail him for his proposals and sales pitch, consider columnist Margaret Carlson's defense of Geithner's short tenure: while he may not be the most telegenic or effective salesman, "there is a long history of less-than-great communicators managing to communicate," and that "Sometimes it’s the steak not the sizzle." (But it wouldn't hurt if he smiled more often.)
Agree or disagree? Nominate your Gold Star winner in the comments section below.
(UPDATE: We've switched the "Team Player" name to "Gold Star" to better reflect the point of these Friday posts.)
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