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White House Cheat Sheet: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Tim Geithner

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (right) has re-emerged as a forceful advocate for President Obama's economic policies. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

As the G-20 global economic summit formally commences today in London, the break out star of the gatherings may not be President Obama but rather his treasury secretary Tim Geithner.

Geithner ran the gauntlet of media outlets over the last 24 hours -- sitting for interviews with the anchors of the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news broadcasts as well as CNN and Bloomberg.

Taken together, Geithner made a solid case for the efficacy and necessity of the president's economic stimulus plan while parrying charges that the countries coming together today -- particularly France and Germany -- disagree on economic policy more than they agree.

"We're just going to see very strong support around that table....very strong support around the world to put in place the kind of reforms around the overall financial system that will deliver a more stable, more sustainable, more balanced growth for world economies," Geither argued in an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson.

Geithner's emergence as an effective -- and high profile spokesman (he was on NBC's "Meet the Press" last weekend) -- comes just weeks after many observers including some Democrats believed he might need to step aside in the wake of his poor performance in selling the bank bailout bill and his failure to move quickly to stymie the furor over bonuses being given to AIG executives.

Obama never wavered in his commitment to Geithner and the treasury secretary appears to be repaying that faith with his strong performance in the lead up to the G-20 meetings.

That's not to say Geithner is entirely out of the woods -- particularly in the arena of public opinion. A Hotline/Diageo poll released on Tuesday showed that 37 percent of Americans view the treasury secretary favorably while 30 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. A poll conducted last month for CBS produced similar results with just 13 percent of the sample saying they had "a lot" of confidence in Geithner's ability to deal with the financial crisis; 41 percent said they had "some" confidence in him while 20 percent said they felt "not much" confidence in Geithner and 15 percent said they had no confidence in him.

One critical thing to remember when analyzing Geithner: many Americans still don't know much about him. The Hotline poll showed 19 percent having never heard of him and another 11 percent saying they didn't know enough about him to offer an opinion. That anonymity is likely to change somewhat following Geithner's high-profile role in the G-20 talks.

What To Watch For:

Thursday's Thoracic-Reads: These are stories you can feel deep down in your chest.

1. France and Germany threaten to be the proverbial turds in the punchbowl at the G-20.
2. Meanwhile, the G-20 protests grow violent.
3. After last week's false start, House Republicans reveal their actual budget alternative.
4. Alaska First Dude Todd Palin tells Men's Journal he couldn't give a "rat's ass" about clothes.
5. "Guiding Light" is going off the air after more than seven decades. Apparently momma doesn't need to watch her stories.

DGA Handicaps 2010 Field: On a conference call for small donors on Wednesday, Democratic Governors Association executive director Nathan Daschle called the 2010 election a "once in a generation" election at the gubernatorial level -- equating it with the 2008 presidential election in terms of long term importance to the party. The call, which required a $25 donation to join, featured Daschle, Democratic Governors Association Chair Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) and political director Ray Glendening. Glendening first ran through the Democratic incumbents the committee is watching, a list that includes Govs. Jon Corzine (N.J.), David Paterson (N.Y.) and Deval Patrick (Mass.). In terms of pickups, Glendening called California "one of the largest prizes" and an "unbelievable opportunity" for Democrats and said of Florida that Republican Gov. Charlie Crist "looks more and more like a Senate candidate daily" implying that if Crist runs for Senate, Democrats will look hard at the open governor's seat. Other pickup opportunities for the Democrats in 2010 include Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to Glendening.

In the "Hard to Believe" Category: Florida Republican Rep. Adam Putnam, who is leaving Congress to run for state Agriculture Commissioner, told the Tampa Tribune that even if Gov. Charlie Crist (R) leaves that office to run for Senate that he will not seek the governorship. A bit of context: Putnam promised his late grandfather that he would one day run for governor.

Duffy Joins Murphy Putnam: Jim Duffy, a Democratic media consultant has signed on as a partner with Murphy Putnam Media. Duffy joined the firm Strother Duffy Strother in 1985, working alongside the legendary media consultant Ray Strother. Strother's retirement after the 2008 cycle made Duffy a free agent. Duffy's clients include Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) and Kentucky state Auditor Crit Luallen.

Click It!: Want a minute-by-minute analysis from inside the Obama bubble during his whirlwind tour abroad? Make sure to follow Mike Shear's Twitter feed. (Mike is one of the Post's White House correspondents and resident Mac nut.) What's that? Wondering how to follow the Fix on Twitter? Well, sure -- you can check out daily musings at "TheFix" and live twittering of press conferences and other events at "TheHyperFix."

Stone on Specter: On again, off again political consultant/dirty trickster Roger Stone offers up his always amusing take on the Pennsylvania Senate race on his Stone Zone blog. "If Arlen Specter is breathing in 2010, which I fully expecting [sic] him to be, he will be reelected to the US Senate," Stone writes. His reasoning? The anti-Specter vote will be split three ways between Peg Luksik, Larry Murphy and former Rep. Pat Toomey. Of course, Stone doesn't think Toomey is really running anyway. (Want more Stone? Who wouldn't? The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash wrote a terrific Stone piece way back in November 2007.)

Best Press Release of the Week (Year?): California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who is running for the Republican nod in next year's governor's race, put out a release late Wednesday congratulating state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), a candidate for governor in 2010 in his own right, on 40 years in elected office. "That's right, Jerry began his political career on April 1, 1969, when he was elected to the Los Angeles Community College District Board," said Poizner communications director Kevin Spillane. "As Brown seeks his third term as Governor, the last forty years have changed California dramatically. But it seems Jerry hasn't." Well played.

Say What?: "I can't spend all my time worrying about what happened yesterday." -- Former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman (R) pledging not to look back in anger during an appearance on Fox News Radio's "Brian and the Judge" show.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 2, 2009; 5:53 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: The Best State Political Blogs (Continued)
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Thanx Matt... thought it was Begala. My posts will remain primitive, of course.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 2, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Glitzy reader?

Not the most coherent insult I've read, but I like it. Good one, zuke!

Posted by: mattintx | April 2, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Zuke, if it's haiku
You're aiming for, syllables
go five seven five

Posted by: mattintx | April 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't Bambi eventually become a stud, in the figurative sense?"

He didn't make it past Godzilla.


Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Bambi eventually become a stud, in the figurative sense?

Posted by: JRM2 | April 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeh that damn lib Bush sure did mess everything thing up torturing everyone,

Damn LIBS!!

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

One thing I must agree with. Americas moral authority
On the world is diminished. Especially with the libs ruining

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha, memorization of beliefs

THATS CALLED A MEMORY. Its something the brain does to remember things.

You have no brain Zouk

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

In his stumbling and bumbling way obambi has declared leadership to be listening and following and doing whatever the unions, Acorn and nancy peloony says to do.

Not one answer veers from his stale stump speech. Time for another memorization of beliefs barry. We've heard all this.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

In his stumbling and bumbling way obambi has declared leadership to be listening and following and doing whatever the unions, Acorn and nancy peloony says to do.

Not one answer veers from his stale stump speech. Time for another memorization of beliefs barry. We've heard all this.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

And by Zouk saying Obama has a secret and not saying what it is makes its seem really mysterious and devious.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

And the traditional press according to Zouk does not include the rest of the worlds papers or the internet.

But Zouk, traditional press is the commie NYT and Post!!!!

How dare Obama answer questions from foriegn press when is in in a FORIEGN COUNTRY.

And I dont remember a teleprompter answer from his 2 hour long primetime press conferences. Which is more than Bush and Clinton did at this time.


Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Let me explain Zouks humor

He used to call Obama the messiah bc its funny bc people like him. People liked Jesus.

And now that we called him out on that, he is calling him OBAMBI. I guess bc he is weak or something.

Then he leaves out all the details of his arguments and uses straw men.


Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Without his TelePrompTer, it is so obvious that he is a glitzy reader. Is he running for higher office again? Will he ever take a breath and actually answer a question- you know, the traditional press

Keep talking barry. Maybe no one will figure out your secret.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Obambi is getting really tough on Korea. He has threatened to replace their whole milk with two percent at the UN cafeteria.

Stocks surge today after obimbos spending ideas are laughed out of the G20. Just another on the long line of failures. I sure am glad the world is kissing our donkey since the cowboy left. Except they're not. Obimbo looks like a petty dictator from central Africa. Who needs protocol, he's Paris Hilton way over his head. It's not community organizing.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen - It’s very early in the game of Obamanomics. “Cap and trade” will have an negative and exponential effect on the family and economy. Higher direct energy bills to the consumer. Higher energy bills to retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, service and transporation companies = Higher cost of goods and services passed on to the consumer. This “cap and trade” expense to you isn’t even including all of the increased taxes and fees planned at federal, state, and local levels. When this actually hits the pocketbook we will see how the market and the nation react. Most people don’t have an inkling and we are talking about a reduction in incomes that will be very noticeable.

Posted by: leapin | April 2, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Man, Obama stops an argument between China and France and they got things worked out.

They are just walking all over Obama like Zouk says

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes wonder whether koz is not actually a devilish plot to make Republicans look bad.

But then I think, why would someone bother? You don't have to make up an embarrassing Republicans, they're all around, and really, really vocal. It would be carrying coals to Newcastle.

Posted by: nodebris | April 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

You people give zouk too much credit. he's a racist through and through.

And Eric Cantor is a moron. No big deal about the country falling apart and huge numbers of people losing their jobs and homes. It's not affecting him and his rich friends, so why do anything about it?

"At a breakfast with reporters this morning , Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) advocated a hands-off policy on the economy, calling out "this town" for "overreacting ... to crisis." Cantor also praised Rush Limbaugh for his "ideas."

Posted by: drindl | April 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Markets surging. Investor confidence is rising. Mass suicides reported at RNC headquarters and in red states as GOP appears headed for permanent minority - if not minor party -- status while President Obama heads for a second term.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | April 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Has zouk mentioned teleprompters yet? Or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or ACORN, or said anything vicious and racist about the Obamas? no? he must be asleep on a bench somewhere with an empty bottle next to him.

Posted by: drindl | April 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse


The repressive "ground muscle of the Bush-Cheney era "extrajudicial punishment network."


How long before Attorney General Holder, DHS Secretary Napolitano and the rest of Team Obama take decisive action to restore human and civil rights in America?



Posted by: scrivener50 | April 2, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"I have sometimes laughed with you in the past, and sometimes, admittedly, at you. But I can only see this post as racist, so I can do neither, here. If "Dianne72", the infamous critic of Michelle's upbringing, had written this, I would have ignored it. You are actually better than that."

Yeah, I don't mind KOZ's chain yanking, but that projects comment is just racist.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 2, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

And where is CHANGEWHAT with his daily ACORN Barry reference?

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

And Wall Street let the market collapse bc Obama was going to win?

You really believe that??

So people like losing money, if it proves Obama is a bad president?

Im sure if McCain and his chief economic advisor Phil Graham who helped push degulation would have SOLVED EVERYTHING!!!

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't know that there was even television 70 years ago.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 2, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Obambi, get it..... like Obama is weak like a deer.


Your Obrilliant. And Oclever.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Zouk is on FIRE!!!!!!

I dont recall anybody calling you a racist when you call Obama the messiah.

Nice straw man argument again!!

Your not a racist, your just predicatble and stupid.

I count 5 teleprompter references today, but I know how much you talked about it during Bush.

I like how you talk about failures, but dont mention them. MORE STRAW MEN.

Its sad that you use a boogey man to try and hit Obama. You have NOTHING!!!

But hey, there is always tomorrow to say the same thing you say everyday. The country will catch up to your brilliance Zouk, I mean Mr. Beck.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I've heard cleverer taunts on a playground. What else you got, zuke?

Posted by: mattintx | April 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"The market is a bit more perspicacious."

Indeed. In the last three weeks, the Dow has rebounded by 20%. Apparently wall street has decided that things are looking up.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Obambi has promised serious consequences if N Korea fires it's missile. Word is that he will plead with the UN to move their parking space to the back of the UN garage.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Simple Simon. I know you are slow, but you didn't realize that Obama was going to be president until inauguration day?

The market is a bit more perspicacious.

The tumble began the day McCain stumbled for the last time and the election result was clear. Anyone with any actual stake in the market knew the libs were going to screw everything up. The two years they ran congress was a sufficient indicator.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

" How did Reagan come up? "

Did you not click the link I provided? The unemployment rate is the highest in 26 years - since May 1983 - which puts us smack-dab in the middle of Reagan's first term.

Also, my prior post should say that Bush 43's term encompasses a drop of over 20%, not 'nearly 30%'. The point stands: if you want to be pissed about the drop in your 401k, most of the drop happened prior to the Obama administration.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

simple Simon. I know you live to blame since lib accomplishments are so fleeting. How did Reagan come up?

The important factor is what to do when natural business cycles turn down. One could follow the FDR model And expand government, spend like crazy and ignore the enemy- resulting in depression, surprise attacks and debt forever.

Or the Reagan model of lower taxes, reduced regulation, record expansion, winning wars, bright outlook, you know, the exact opposite of carter or Obama.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe he could remain silent until my 401 returns to returns."

There may be some misplaced rage here. The Dow is down about 3.5% since inauguration. For the Bush 43 term it was down nearly 30%.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"obimbo is succeeding to carteresque levels of ineptitude."

How can that be? The unemployement level is comparable to that in the heart of Reagan's first term - but we're only in the third month of Obama's term. If you're going to blame the 80s recession on Carter, don't we have to blame this recession on Bush?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The Dow is up. Capitalism must be free of socialist meddling for the day. Obimbos TelePrompTer must not be compatible with British electricity. Payback for the DVD gift?

Maybe he could remain silent until my 401 returns to returns. I think there are some pacific atolls that have not been promised the world or if necessary, surrendered to by messiah.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

TO: TreasSec Geithner (staff, please forward)

cc: AG Holder; SecDef Gates; SecDHS Napolitano

Mr. Secretary: Is it possible that secret programs and policies of the federal government -- including Treasury -- helped sabotage family finances, leading to the mortgage meltdown that triggered the crisis?

Please consider the following:



* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons (D.E.W.) assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking fronted by federal volunteer programs, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have used the IRS as an ideological tool of "social cleansing."


OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | April 2, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Geithner is merely symptomatic. The rise and fall you write abut is Obama's. He went from being a President of the people to being a hack of corporate and monied interests in the space of three months.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 2, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Simple Simon - if your goal is to get the formerly productive American workforce fully on the government dole and subsequently dependent on lib handouts for sustenance, then yes, obimbo is succeeding to carteresque levels of ineptitude.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Interesting quote, newbeeboy. And yes, it's a Democrat's. And here's a tip for next time: This is what a link to a primary source looks like.


Holy moly, it's The Post!

Posted by: mattintx | April 2, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin, you're wasting your breath. Zouk's post was clearly a big pile of steaming racism. You're just feeding his loser ego by engaging him.

Posted by: uh_huhh | April 2, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"He sure is a good teleprompter reader"

is amusing on its own.
KOZ, there are no teleprompters in "the projects". I drew the racial inference because I could not find any connection otherwise. My error? Probably not.

To infer from your comment that you meant that the former community organizer was in over his head was a stretch too far from the words - although I know that is actually what you think. Which brings me back to why your post at 9:16A was more amusing.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Notice how the only commenter who refers to the president as a messiah is . . . zuke?

Posted by: mattintx | April 2, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"I am trying to avoid the plethora of failures and missteps."

I'll bite. I argue that you are "avoiding" nothing. I contest that you harp on the "Telepromter" silliness because it's all you have.

That said, I'd love to see a list of the "plethora of failures and missteps" you feel the President has committed and why they qualify as such.

I wait with baited breath...

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 2, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

C'mon Zouk, the President must be doing something right; the WaPost is reporting that joblessness has risen to Reagan like levels. And we're talking late in the Gipper's first term, not 2 1/2 months in.


Posted by: bsimon1 | April 2, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin is right. The Zouk post was pathetic racism.

In other news, I didn't find Poizner's press release well-played at all. I couldn't care less about Jerry Brown, but the press release is just a bunch of empty-headed snarky b.s. What does Poizner actually stand for? Does he plan to share any substantive ideas with us, or is he going to just try to snark his way to the governor's mansion?

Posted by: uh_huhh | April 2, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The 24X7 news cycle has led to distorted perspectives about our political leaders. I am amazed that anyone could possible think the Geithner, or anyone else, could solve the complex problems that led to our economic problems in his first week in office. He was under relentless attack and there were calls for his removal almost before he got the key to his office. Get real people. He is obviously a very bright man who has the public's interest at heart. The public's interest is not always going to be aligned with Wall Street's desires so he is going to be attacked by those who own the media. Hopefully there are still a few honest media outlets who will discern the truth. That would obviously not include Fox News.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | April 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry for continuing to dwell on the TelePrompTer issue but in my effort to remain positive about our new inexperienced president, I am trying to avoid the plethora of failures and missteps. So I remain committed to discussing his positive qualities:

He sure is a good teleprompter reader.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Geithner and Summers both need to explain and atone for their role as de-regulation cheerleaders in years past before they get respect from me. I'm also very suspicious of the Goldman Sachs connection to our Treasury and Fed.

Posted by: JohnDoug | April 2, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I know. Anyone who is not mesmerized by messiah is a racist. I must also be a homophobe because I don't care for barney.

As far as actual defense of obimbos lapses- nonexistent.

Is not a community organizer located in the projects? Who said anything about skin color being related to projects. Wow, you sound like a racist.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Because neither of the Obamas were raised "in the projects", and because there is no discernible link between "the projects" and foreign policy or teleprompters, the attempted humor falls short, KOZ, by any measure.

I have sometimes laughed with you in the past, and sometimes, admittedly, at you. But I can only see this post as racist, so I can do neither, here. If "Dianne72", the infamous critic of Michelle's upbringing, had written this, I would have ignored it. You are actually better than that.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Damn Zouk beat me.

I wanted to be the first to mention Teleprompters!!!

You win I guess, but I get to call him messiah first today!

and looking for CHANGEWHAT to call him ACRON Barry.

You guys are too predictable.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | April 2, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

it seems you can take barry and michelle out of the projects but you can't take the project out of the obama's. What an embarassment. He should be limited to reading from his fleet of teleprompters for the rest of his term.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 2, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I think one of the Dem's once said:
' One who lives in the land of the hypothetical dwells in the province of a fool. '

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 2, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Geithner posed the bad asset purchase plan as the best of only three alternatives. It is clearly the best of the three he posed. But suggesting only three possibilities was a mere selling tool, and I thought I was listening to a high pressure pitch man trying to close a deal with me, mot a SecTreas trying to elevate my understanding of the issue.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

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