Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cult of personality

A lot of Democrats are issuing a call for Obama to keep Paulson on as Treasury Secretary, should our candidate find a way to keep it together (like put a muzzle on Biden about the freakin Buckeyes) and win. Although there are good Democratic candidates, I also think it's a bad time to change horses, at least in that stable. Chris Cox we can waterboard.

But there is a danger of a cult of personality emerging around Paulson, just like it did around Greenspan. By now, everybody's ready to kick the dapper little positivist gremlin and blame him for everything, but that is a mistake. Greenspan was empowered by our awe and reverence, and when he told us asset-price bubbles didn't require pricking, we believed him because we really wanted to believe and had become accustomed to doing so, despite the tech stock thing.

Paulson, we must remember, is one big tough dude and he's doing as good a job as could be hoped, but he's one guy. Bernanke, as we have said, is a shrinking violet, and maybe that's restoring the Fed to its place. In any case, Paulson needs to find a lieutenant, elevate him and share the lectern with him to build up cred, so that he won't have to do every press conference and be the sole voice of wisdom.

We know for damn sure the Bush holds no weight.

1 comment:

Steed said...

Interesting. I had not heard this idea. I agree that Paulson is managing this well, but disagree with the proposal. See my most recent post on . I think the republican economic philosophy is at the root of the problem. Paulson is working now to equip a town full of outlaws with bullet-proof vests, but that's not the best solution if you're willing to dig a little deeper. I'm willing to dig deeper.