Lawrence H. Summers, one of President Obama’s closest economic confidants and a former Treasury secretary, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the position of chairman of the Federal Reserve amid rising opposition from Mr. Obama’s own Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.It ain't 3, it's 4, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, and Jon Tester, who announced his opposition on Friday.
In a statement released by the White House on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Obama said he had accepted the decision by his friend even as he praised him for helping to rescue the country from economic disaster early in the president’s term.
“Larry was a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today,” Mr. Obama said in the statement.
He added: “I will always be grateful to Larry for his tireless work and service on behalf of his country, and I look forward to continuing to seek his guidance and counsel in the future.”
Mr. Summers appeared to have been the White House’s favored candidate to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, though Mr. Obama had repeatedly said he had not yet made a decision between Mr. Summers, Janet L. Yellen, who is a vice chairwoman of the Fed, or someone else.
But Mr. Summers’s reputation for being brusque, his comments about women’s natural aptitude in mathematics and science, and his decisions on financial regulatory matters in the Clinton and Obama administrations had made him a controversial choice.
Three Senate Democrats on the Banking Committee had come out against Mr. Summers’s nomination, meaning that the White House might have had to barter for as many as three Republican votes for him even to pass out of committee.
Summers withdrew his name because he cannot be confirmed.
Let's be clear here: the American People won.
Obama desperately wanted to nominate Summers, despite the crescendo of opposition.