Progressive Alert: Obama's Treasury Secretary Pick Could Go Badly Wrong

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

With the financial meltdown gathering speed, the need for serious reform is more important than ever. But Obama is surrounding himself with deregulators and supply siders, the very same people responsible for the mess in the first place. Robert Scheer of TruthDig points out:

This is not change we can believe in. Not


if Robert Rubin or his protégé, Lawrence Summers, get to call the shots


on the economy in President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming


administration. Both Clinton-era treasury secretaries deserve a great


deal of the blame for the radical deregulation of the financial


industry that has derailed the world economy. They both should, along


with former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, perform rites of


contrition and be kept at a safe distance from the leadership of our


nation.


Yet Rubin and Summers are highly visible


in the Obama transition team, with Summers widely touted as Obama’s


pick for secretary of the treasury.

Progressives need to be extremely alert about this. Obama is driving close to the edge with his growing Clintonite team, and he needs to define himself as a different type of leader. Obama gained the support of progressives with his calls for regulation and critique of the Clinton era financial liberalisation, but if he chooses Summers, it will all be for nothing.