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Obama says government shutdown won't slow his pick for Fed chief

President Obama said Wednesday that the federal shutdown wouldn't slow his selection of a new Federal Reserve chairman.

In an interview with CNBC, Obama noted that the next Fed chief will be "one of the most important appointments I make, other than the Supreme Court," and indicated that his team was still working to thoroughly vet candidates.

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Obama gave no hints about who might replace Ben Bernanke, but said his candidate would need to "reflect the Fed's dual mandate."

"They're gonna be making sure that they keep an eye on inflation, that they're not encouraging some of the bubbles that we've seen in our economy that have resulted in bust," Obama said. "But they're also gonna stay focused on the fact that our unemployment rate is still too high. And ordinary workers out there still need an economy that's strengthened, aggregate demand that's strengthened so that we can end up putting more people back to work with better wages."

Last month, White House press secretary Jay Carney said an announcement would come in the "fall." Bernanke's term expires Jan. 31, but a nominee would need to navigate what is likely to be a tough Senate confirmation process.

Speculation around the post has centered on Janet Yellen, the central bank's vice chairman, since former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers removed his name from consideration last month.

Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) predicted that Yellen would be the president's pick.

“I would bet a few bucks that that would happen if I were a betting man,” Durbin told Bloomberg.