Re: Night of the Politically Dead
Aw shucks — now the Times says we’re still stuck with the Benster. Crap!
WASHINGTON — After a full-scale mobilization, White House officials expressed confidence on Saturday that they had contained a populist uprising among Democratic senators that had threatened President Obama’s nomination of Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as the Federal Reserve chairman.
Hoping to quell fears in the financial markets that Mr. Bernanke could become a casualty of rising anti-Wall Street sentiment, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican who is a member of the panel, said in a statement that “based on our discussions with our colleagues, we are very confident that Chairman Bernanke will win confirmation.”
The effort to secure Mr. Bernanke’s confirmation, which had intensified after two Democratic senators announced their opposition on Friday, continued through Saturday and included calls to senators by both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bernanke. By late afternoon, senators began issuing statements of support. White House and Congressional Democratic leaders say they now believe that they have the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment. They expect some Democrats will oppose him on the confirmation vote, but that requires only 50 votes.
The first break in what had seemed a potential stampede against Mr. Bernanke was the statement from Mr. Dodd and Mr. Gregg. About four hours later, two Democrats — Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois — issued separate endorsements. Mr. Kerry, acknowledging many Americans’ anger about the bailouts of the big banks, said, “It’s understandable why there is debate, questioning and even anger” about Mr. Bernanke’s renomination. “Still,” he added, “out of this near calamity, I believe Chairman Bernanke provided leadership that was urgent, nimble, strong and vital in staving off greater disaster.”
We may be insolvent, but at least we’ve still got Printer Ben manning the press!
* gulps down another Damitol 2L headache powder *