I’m a huge Summers fan, but, after talking to a few people who share my admiration for him, I’ve changed my mind about whether he should be Treasury secretary. Summers has a great deal to contribute, yet he lacks the kind of … communication skills he’d need in the job. Yes, he served as Treasury secretary before, but the stakes are high, the economic environment is decidedly ominous, and Summers treats everyone as he’d like to be treated — that is, he is blunt and aggressive with everyone, including with people who need to be treated with kid gloves. The Harvard faculty was full of fragile egos, and so is the political universe. Let Summers be Summers, and keep him far away from a role that requires deft diplomacy. I’d much rather have him running the National Economic Council or play some other crucial behind-the-scenes role.
Go for Geithner.