Anyone else notice the remarkably positive articles that have popped about up recently on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Chair Larry Summers? Most recently, there was this New York Times story that said, basically, that said a lot of voices in the Obama administration disagreed with Geithner over the financial bailout but he prevailed. Then, today, there was this front page Washington Post story on how Summers and Geithner have become the administrations's dynamic duo on economic issues.

This from the Washington Post story:
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and National Economic Council Chair Lawrence H. Summers pushed for weeks for a strict cap on the nation's debt. And while other advisers argued that the administration needed a more flexible spending plan, they could not deter the president from ultimately agreeing with the views promoted by the partnership of Geithner and Summers.

The approach advanced by the two men proved formative, providing White House budget officials the critical guidepost for the overall spending plan, an administration official said. When the pair team up in policy debates, as they often do, they are a potent force within the administration, officials said.


By all accounts, Obama has come to rely heavily on their advice, especially that of Summers. Before he spoke to Congress last Tuesday night, he gave Summers and Geithner several drafts of the speech and asked them for feedback.

There is a lot that can be read into these stories, but I think what jumps out is the Obama's team mastery of crafting the message they want in the media, an ability that was widely noted during the campaign. The message here is simple: We were in an economic crisis and the Obama team not only has two of the best economic minds in the country in the White House, but they get along and agree with each other.