Is the luster finally wearing off the love affair between the White House press corps and President Barack Obama? It is, if CBS White House correspondent Chip Reid’s analysis of President Barack Obama’s latest Wall Street proposals is anything to go by.
Reid appeared on the Fox Business Network’s Jan. 25 “Imus in the Morning” program and offered an update on the president’s financial and economic advisers, mainly Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers. He said both Geithner and Summers should survive , despite a run-in with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who chairs the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
“Well, you know, it's really the same as it's all been,” Reid said. “That there's some unease about both of them, but the President has been satisfied with the jobs they've done. Behind the scenes, they both still have a lot of control. They lost this battle to Volcker, but now they're on board on this new plan for Wall Street, although it really sounds more like politics than a real plan because it's hard to believe it would get through.”
“You know, they're just looking for ways to grab this populist tone that he wants to have and beat up on Wall Street,” Reid said. “But you know, and then they get home and they realize after giving a speech like that that the stock market goes down when you do things like that. You just can't beat up on Wall Street constantly for political purposes and expect nothing, nothing but good things to happen.”
The Obama administration is at a fork in the road according to Reid, and the president has to decide whether or not to lurch further in one direction with certain policies or back off and moderate.
“So they are really in a moment here where they're just trying to figure out where they're going,” Reid said. “Do they go – the president when he gave that town hall on Friday sounded like he was doubling down on health care. But you know, a lot of people even in the administration believe it's time to back off and pull out the most popular elements, try to pass something, but don't try to pass this whole big giant package down people's throats. But there are a lot of people on Capitol Hill and some in the White House would like to do just that.”
After Obama’s announcement on Jan. 22, stocks took a nose dive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA) sank 552 points over the course of three days following his strong rhetoric about the banks.