Obama’s economic picks are actually pretty good: Larry Summers and Christina Romer. But then again, Bernanke was also an excellent academic and yet has performed pretty poorly. Of course, Summers and Romer are macro types and macroeconomics is bunk. But that’s not the point. The point is that the intelligence and expertize don’t really matter when your tool is central-panning. No amount of smartdom can help. No amount of charm and sensibleness will help Obama from taking missteps. One exercise that helps freeing oneself from the distraction that charisma and personality create is to pick your most despised political figure and pretend that he/she says the things your favorite politician is saying. For instance take this line from Obama’s recent speech:
“The auto industry historically has been the backbone of America’s manufacturing base. And it’s not just the auto industry. It’s not just the Big Three. It’s also all the suppliers, all the businesses that in one way or another are part of our auto industry that are at stake here. So I’ve said before and I will repeat, we can’t allow the auto industries simply to vanish. We’ve got to make sure that it is there and that the workers and suppliers and businesses that rely on the auto industry stay in business. ”
“Nobody wants to see more job loss. And I think Americans take great pride in the history of the American automobile industry. But taxpayers don’t want to see more money wasted. So we need to see a plan, and when we see a plan, we’re going to, I think, be able to shape the kind of assistance package that makes sense.”
Now pretend that Sarah Palin had been elected president by some incredible turn of events…close your mind and reread the above paragraphs with her voice instead of his voice…. I can already hear the chuckles and guffaws: It’s Saturday Night Live!!!!!