The Campaign Spot

Why Meet With Bernanke?

A reader offers a thought on Obama’s upcoming closed-door meeting with Fed Chairman Bernanke:

You write: “…it’s not unreasonable for a candidate to want to get as much information about the economy as possible.”
And you quote an Obama adviser as saying: “He wants an update on where the economy is and where it’s going,” the Obama adviser said. “He’s not there to tell Bernanke how to do his job.” [As if, now that part is presumptuous.]
But the economy is an open book. There are no classified analyses, no top secret reports. No information is held back–except for the delayed release of Fed Board meeting minutes. If Obama has 300 foreign policy advisers, he ought to be able to collect a fraction that to inform him on the economy. Though, perhaps he actually wants straight-up input, rather than Dem party economics policy advice.
Yet, this is the same Obama who hasn’t held a sub-committee hearing on NATO with regards to Afghanistan–where there is information not in the public domain, whether classified, confidential, or of some other limited access. And there would exist for the purposes of oversight, and informing himself, administration and military personnel that are responsible for outcomes in Afghanistan, in a way that Bernanke cannot be with regard to the economy.
How soon do you think it will be before Obama will cite his meeting with Bernanke as part of an explanation that he is “up to speed” for the presidency? Rather than remaining silent, as part of a private meeting or briefing?


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