Austan Goolsbee 2

Top Adviser to Lead Panel on Economy

By JACKIE CALMES, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday will promote a longtime economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, to chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, signaling continuity even as a high unemployment rate has left much of the public dissatisfied with administration policies.

Mr. Obama’s decision to elevate Mr. Goolsbee, a left-of-center economist, to succeed Christina D. Romer, who returned this month to the University of California, Berkeley, is part of a broader flux within the White House economic team, as architects of the government’s response to the worst recession in 80 years begin moving up and out and their roles shift.

Mr. Goolsbee has been serving as a member of the three-person advisory panel since the beginning of the Obama administration.

No other major changes are expected, officials say, reflecting a theme the president sounded on Wednesday in an economic address near Cleveland, that the country should “keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out.”

Republican leaders in Congress, and a few endangered Democrats seeking to distance themselves from the White House before the midterm elections, have called for Mr. Obama to fire his top advisers, including the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner. But Mr. Geithner, who did not know Mr. Obama previously, has become one of the president’s most trusted advisers, credited with successfully managing the financial bailout and recovering most of the taxpayers’ money. He is expected to remain for some time.

Asked on PBS’s “NewsHour” this week about the calls for him to be fired, Mr. Geithner quipped, “It’s an old idea. A lot of people have had it, and my wife had it first, I think.” He added, “I’m going to do this as long as the president asks me to do it.”

Similarly, Lawrence H. Summers, the director of the White House National Economic Council, is not expected to leave soon, officials say, despite his history of run-ins with other advisers, and Mr. Obama’s occasional impatience with the policy vetting process that Mr. Summers oversees.

Mr. Obama and the other advisers nonetheless value Mr. Summers’s contributions as a renowned economist and former secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, these officials say.

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