Sunday, October 23, 2005


President Attempts to Blunt Charges of Cronyism

Still smarting from criticism of his nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court, President George W. Bush today nominated a man he described as “a guy I met at the mall” to succeed Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.

At a White House ceremony, a beaming President Bush stood at the side of the guy he met at the mall and explained how he came to choose a total unknown to replace Mr. Greenspan, who has served at the Fed since 1987.

Mr. Bush said that the two men met while they were waiting in line at a David’s Cookies store: “I was very impressed with the way he counted his change, and I am confident he will bring that same understanding of money to his new role as head of the Federal Reserve.”

While the president said he did not yet know the name of the guy he met at the mall, he added, “All of that will come out during the confirmation process.”

After being accused of cronyism in the nomination of Ms. Miers, the president may be trying to blunt such criticism by nominating someone he barely knows to run the Fed, some in Washington believe.

But Davis Logsdon, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, has a different theory about Mr. Bush’s recent appointments: “He may be surrounding himself with lousy people in the hopes that he’ll be graded on a curve.”

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