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Christina Romer, Obama top economic adviser quits; infighting to blame?

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WASHINGTON--On the day that President Obama touted the confirmation of a woman--Elena Kagan--to the Supreme Court--one of the top femaies in the Obama White House, Christina Romer, announced her resignation as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

The White House on Thursday night said she will step down on Sept. 3 "to resume her position as professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley," where her son will start high school.

Romer is the advisor who during the Obama presidential transition--in December 2008--gave Obama and his team an economic briefing that underscored the severity of the financial crisis ahead for the incoming president.

Her departure comes as reports have been surfacing of tensions with National Economic Council Chair Lawrence Summers.

Click below for White House statement.

Office of the Press Secretary
August 5, 2010
Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, to Return to the University of California, Berkeley

WASHINGTON - Dr. Christina Romer announced today her plans to step down as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, effective September 3rd, to resume her position as professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

President Obama said that Dr. Romer had long stated her desire to return to California, where her son will be starting high school in the fall.

As CEA chair, Dr. Romer is one of the key economic advisers who has met with the President on almost daily basis to help chart the response to the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

"Christy Romer has provided extraordinary service to me and our country during a time of economic crisis and recovery," the President said. "The challenges we faced demanded more of Christy than any of her predecessors, and I greatly valued and appreciated her skill, commitment and wise counsel.

"While Christy's family commitments require that she return home, I'm gratified that she will continue to offer her insights and advice as a member of my Economic Recovery Advisory Board."

Dr. Romer said it has been the "honor of a lifetime" to serve the country and the President through such a critical time.

"While I look forward to returning to research and teaching, the opportunity to help shape economic policy these past 20 months, and to work with the other members of the economic team and my colleagues on the CEA, is one I will always cherish."

Under Dr. Romer's leadership, the CEA has provided the detailed analysis of economic developments and data critical to the development of the President's economic policy.

Dr. Romer and the CEA's careful analysis of the effects of health care reform on the overall economy, small businesses, and state and local governments were instrumental in crafting a better bill and making the case for its enactment, and she has been a powerful voice for sound, evidence-based economic analysis on a wide range of public policy issues.

As one of the most public faces of the administration's economic policies she also has been a forceful and tireless advocate of additional measures to support the recovery and help the unemployed, including additional fiscal relief to state governments to prevent the layoffs of hundreds and thousands of teachers.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 5, 2010 7:29 PM.

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