The Campaign Spot

‘Geithner is starting to look like Obama’s Rumsfeld.’

I’ll be guest-hosting the Hugh Hewitt show tomorrow night. One of my guests will be John Aravosis of AmericaBlog, a liberal site. (John and I did lefty-righty appearances on CNN for a while.)

I want to ask John about the fascinating phenomenon of liberal bloggers turning on Geithner, and fast. On several issues, the financial crisis has reshuffled some of the usual battle lines. We’ve seen pro-TARP and anti-TARP voices in both parties, House Republicans split almost down the middle on the 90 percent bonus tax, and liberals disagreeing on whether Treasury or Dodd is really to blame for the bonus language in the stimulus.

Daily Kos creator Markos Moulitsas: “Geithner is starting to look like Obama’s Rumsfeld.”

John, today:

I don’t like the idea of piling on our new president so early in his tenure, but Geithner has lost the public confidence. He’s even lost the confidence of Obama’s own top allies and cheerleaders: fellow Democrats who helped put Obama into office. This is just very bad, and getting worse by the day. At this point in politics, it doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong, Geithner or his critics. We are in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis. I don’t see how it’s tenable much longer to have a man in charge of resolving the crisis who is increasingly not trusted, respected, or believed. Right or wrong, this is starting to reflect on Obama. And when you start to hurt your boss, in politics, good staff bow out.

I find myself almost falling into the role of the Geithner defender. As I said this weekend, “Tim Geithner cannot leave the Treasury Department. Because if he leaves, there will be no one left to answer the phones.”

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