When managing the ludicrously inept New York Mets in 1962, an exasperated Casey Stengel finally threw up his hands and shouted, "Can't anybody play this here game?"

That team, which in its inaugural season finished 40-120, showcased such colorful players as Marvin Throneberry, Choo Choo Coleman and a pitcher named "Vinegar" Bend Mizell, none of whom would come within two area codes of Cooperstown when their playing careers ended.

Needless to say that was a rough summer for fledgling Mets fans and it would be seven long years before they fielded a team who could actually play this here game.

It's also been a rough summer for the Obama administration.

Adding to the growing national frustration over a stagnant recovery, the ballooning deficit and unemployment, is a quasi-wholesale departure of key members of the president's economic team.

First, White House budget director Peter Orszag announced his exit in June, claiming exhaustion and his upcoming nuptials, which turned out was government speak for conflicting policies with his boss over the future of the Bush tax cuts.

Then Christina Romer, Obama's first Council of Economic Advisers chairman, left to return to her post as an economics professor at Berkeley.

Last week, chief economist Larry Summers, confirmed what may have been the worst kept secret on Capitol Hill in that he was leaving to return to Harvard at the end of the year.

And most recently, Herbert Allison, a key player in the TARP bailout of Wall Street, said he was stepping down as the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability

But here's what I find odd.

Summers' departure had been first reported in March, which was initially and predictably denied by the White House.

Even so, that should have given them more than enough time to vet at least a few potential successors.

But the administration apparently does not have anyone on deck.

Oh there were a handful of post-Summers potentials being leaked to the press, among them Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, and Citigroup chairman Dick Parsons, but my guess is that none of the above want the 24-7 headache of championing the agenda of massive spending programs and tax hikes.

But the common denominator is that they all have extensive corporate experience, a pedigree that is nearly non-existent in the Obama administration. Should the above-mentioned pass on the job, chances are, the post will be filled internally by another bureaucrat who's never met a payroll and will add only to an heretofore unimpressive performance.

The White House already has a rather large anti-business perception problem with Wall Street and the financial community. Inserting another White House appointed cheerleader would have more than a few asking if anyone on the administration can play this here game.

Let's hope it's not seven years before someone can.

 

 

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