Spotlight Exclusives

Jared Bernstein Tapped as Biden۪s Chief Economist

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“Out of the Spotlight” Posting for December 5, 2008

Biden Bets Big on Bernstein Joe Biden just announced that Jared Bernstein, of the Economic Policy Institute, will be Biden۪s chief economist and economic policy advisor. One of the leading Washington voices for a liberal, pro-labor economic stance, Jared can always be counted on to advocate for low-wage workers and their families. His two most recent books, All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy and Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries) both devote big chunks of real estate to the plight of struggling, hard-pressed American families.

Biden۪s choice of Jared is another indication both that Biden is putting a serious team together, and that there will be strong liberal voices on Obama’s economic team. While Jared has been positioned to the left of most of Obama’s team on big issues like trade, in recent months he seems to have pulled some of the centrist economists towards his point-of-view, rather than vice versa. Witness folks like Larry Summers, recently tapped by President-elect Obama to head up the National Economic Council, doing a darned good imitation of Jared:

We all need to recognize more Americans think the country is going in the wrong directionMore Americans think that their children aren۪t likely to be as economically successful as they were and if one looks at Congress, if one looks at the President, if one looks at business leaders as a groupfaith in their leadership is at a low. And so making the choices that lie ahead wisely, decisively, and in the broad interestis of immense importance not just for peoples۪ economic well being but for a sense of the broad legitimacy of the society of which we are a part.”

Jaredis, by some counts, the single most quoted U.S. economist in the media today. With his quick wit, talent for highly quotable quotes, and analysis, both speedy and sharp, this EPI numbers maven is much in demand by media like CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NPR, and WAPO. The only downside to Jared joining the Obama administration is that he۪ll likely have to stifle some of that wicked wit!

posted by Mike


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