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Blog Buzz: 730 days of Summer(s)

White House chief economic advisor Larry Summers’ departure from the White House raises questions from liberal and conservative bloggers on how he left and whom the White House will recruit to replace him.

Writing at conservative blog National Journal Online, J.D. Foster, senior fellow in the economics of fiscal policy at the Heritage Foundation, wondered whether Summers’ resignation, and those of other former White House advisors, was due to incompatibility with President Obama.

“Summers may win few popularity contests, but he is near universally acclaimed as one of the finest economic minds of our time. Word of his resignation raises the question: If Summers is so smart, how does one explain the administration’s economic policies?

It may turn out that Obama’s chief economic adviser was not Summers, or Orszag, or Romer. Perhaps all three were frustrated to learn that, from the start, Barack Obama’s chief and ultimately sole economic adviser has been Barack Obama. It would explain the frustrated departure of the illustrious three. It would explain the administration’s economic policies. And it would explain the unease of so many Americans who tell pollsters that Washington’s economic policies are fundamentally headed in the wrong direction.”

Hot Air’s Allahpundit also questioned the reasoning given for Summers’ departure.

“Supposedly, it’s because Harvard has a “strict two-year leave policy” for professors’ sabbaticals that Summers has to leave now. Really? They wouldn’t bend the rules for a former president of the university so that he can go on advising the president of the United States? If that’s true, how come we didn’t hear about Summers’s plans to leave long, long ago?”

Liberal bloggers don’t mourn Summers’ leaving. Writing that Summers helped further Obama’s “conservative economic agenda,” AMERICAblog's Chris in Paris at wrote that Summers’ replacement would not mean a change in policy.

“We may be in for an even more conservative economic agenda. Should that be the case, there's really even less reason to support this administration.”

Among the replacement candidates for Summers mentioned at the liberal OpenLeft: New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman, economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Elizabeth Warren, the new special assistant to the President and Treasury Secretary for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.