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Obama's Wayward Chief Of Staff


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Investors Business Daily:

Election '12: The president has staked his re-election bid on the claim that GOP deregulation of Wall Street caused a crisis he can't fix. But even his own chief of staff isn't buying it.

Jacob Lew, former budget director and Hillary Clinton loyalist, wasn't Obama's first choice to replace Bill Daley, who resigned abruptly as chief of staff. Daley was supposed to stay on through the election, managing the campaign from the White House.

Now the president has someone in that key role who, unknown to many even inside the Beltway, rejects the central premise of his propaganda campaign against Republicans. Obama is loath to admit it, but Lew has denied that Wall Street deregulation caused the recession, a view that is completely off-message.

Just last year, in little-noticed testimony, Lew rankled Senate Democrats when he refused to go along with their spin regarding the root causes of the crisis. The defection occurred during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee.

Late in the hearing, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders teed up what he thought would be a softball question for the nominee: "Do you believe that the deregulation of Wall Street contributed significantly to the disaster?" Lew not only failed to hit it out of the park, but whiffed.

"My sense is, as someone who has generally been familiar with these trends, the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation," Lew answered. "I don't believe deregulation was the proximate cause." He blamed "leveraging" instead.

An aghast committee Chairman Kent Conrad scrambled to correct the renegade witness and maintain the left's carefully crafted artifice. The North Dakota Democrat insisted deregulation "has central responsibility" for the crisis. And he castigated the Bush administration for looking "the other way" on Wall Street "greed."

One enterprising reporter asked the White House about the rare dissent and was curtly told that Lew "is not an expert" on the subject.snip
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