Friday, August 6, 2010

Politico-Obama's Key Economic Player Downplays White House Rift

photo credit of Christina Romer/AP
(Story reported by Kendra Marr and Matt Negrin)

Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer on Friday pushed back against speculation that her frustration with National Economic Council Director Larry Summers’ direct line to President Barack Obama led her to resign.

Romer, who has a 13-year-old son entering high school in fall, told MSNBC her decison to leave the West Wing and return to teach at the University of California-Berkeley “was purely for family reasons,” and not the result of friction inside the administration. She insisted to Bloomberg TV that Summers had become one of her “dear friends.”

"Everybody knows we're all strong personalities," Romer told The Associated Press. "We don't hesitate to have a very aggressive back-and-forth. But I think one of the things that we have done is absolutely find our groove. We're a wonderful team."

Her public assertions is in the wake of the National Journal’s report that Romer, irritated that Summers’ access to Obama undercut her authority, handed in her resignation – a story that ultimately sent the White House scrambling to announce her resignation. White House aides insisted into late Thursday night that the story, based on anonymous sources, was unfounded; Summers even released a statement that declared Romer an “extraordinary friend and colleague at the White House.”

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