Many are speculating that Tim Geithner is being set up to be the fall guy for the disasters of the Obama administration’s early days. So yesterday, President Obama backed his Treasury Secretary 100%:
The White House stood by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday amid widespread outrage over millions of dollars in bonuses insurance giant AIG gave to executives after receiving federal bailout money.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama had confidence in Geithner and the Treasury Department’s oversight.
I don’t know how it works with Treasury secretaries, but we can say this with confidence: if he was a baseball manager, he’d be toast.
SCOTT adds: Reader Matthew McMahon writes:
There’s a FireDogLake post (I know, I know) claiming that Dodd actually wanted to severely restrict the bonuses, and only consented to put in the bonus grandfather clause because Geithner and Summers insisted on it. It makes, I think, a pretty sound case, based on media reports at the time. There are obviously a lot of things to be mad at Dodd for, but this is not one of them. The onus for this blunder should be placed on Treasury officials, quickly.
JOHN adds: Is the position Dodd is now taking consistent with those reports?
In an interview with CNN, Dodd denied inserting that exemption at the 11th hour, and insisted he doesn’t know how it got there.
“When I wrote the language there was no such language like that,” Dodd told CNN Tuesday.
Multiple Senate Democratic leadership sources also deny knowing how the exemption got into the bill.
So it’s a mystery! I suppose that’s what happens when you adopt legislation without taking time to read it.