What is President Obama waiting for?
The first thing he should have done Monday morning was nominate Janet Yellen to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
But because he didn't, another avalanche of stories hit: why Larry Summers withdrew from consideration; how liberal Senate Democrats have split with the White House; and what's wrong with the White House nomination process.
My favorite quote was this one in the Wall Street Journal:
"Floating trial balloons generally sucks as a strategy," said John Podesta, chairman of the Center for American Progress and a White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration. "You've got to make your decision and go with it."
For someone like Podesta to put his name on such a damning quote shows you the depth of dysfunction here.
I get that there's a lot on the President's plate, even more than usual with Syria and the mass shooting in Washington on Monday, but juggling comes with the job. Obama has already had many months to make this call.
When Summers withdrew on Sunday, the President should have called Yellen and offered her the job. He should have apologized for putting her through this public humiliation and pledged to give her complete independence in running the central bank.
But Obama seems to have a true weakness when it comes to high-profile nominations. (Remember Elizabeth Warren and the CFPB? Or Susan Rice for secretary of state?)
Appointing the first woman to lead the Fed should be an inspiring, historic moment. Obama has turned it into a consolation prize.
It'll serve him right if she turns it down.