Rahm Emanuel is the first member of the Obama White House to be named. He certainly won't be the last. And one name that has been floated around is Lawrence Summers. Just as Emanuel was widely expected to be offered Chief of Staff, Summers is expected to be offered Secretary of the Treasury.
I think that would be a big mistake.
First, off this is the man who, while president of Harvard, suggested there was a gender difference between men and women that made women worse at math and science. So, we as Americans make a huge leap forward against racism and bias only bring a possible misogynist into the cabinet? Good movie.
Second, and more alarming, is that bringing on Summers, Obama is not just looking backwards (Summers was a Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton), he is looking backwards at one of the men who was a key player in getting us into this economic mess in the first place. He, like Robert Rubin before him (Rubin doesn't want the job or else he'd be getting a blog post as well) and Alan Greenspan were all instrumental in propping up the derivatives market. As Politico reported, "Summers praised the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act as 'a major step forward to the 21st Century' at the November 1999 signing of the bill."
That's not who any of us should want heading the Treasury right now.