TEXT OF INTERVIEW
BILL RADKE: Late yesterday, the White House announced that top economic adviser Larry Summers will be leaving at the end of the year. It’s the latest in a string of departures that includes budget director Peter Orzag and top economist Christina Romer. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth joins us live to talk about it. Good morning, Alisa.
ALISA ROTH: Good morning.
RADKE: Republicans have taken shots at the Obama economic team. Is this a reaction to the criticism?
ROTH: The White House says Summers’ departure has been long-planned. There’s at least some truth to that: Summers’ family stayed behind when he came to D.C. And he says he’ll lose his tenure at Harvard if he doesn’t go back by January.
In any case, it’s really not atypical to see a big turnover in White House staff around the mid-way point. Which is, as we all know, where we are right now.
RADKE: What kinds of changes do you figure we’ll see because Summers is leaving?
ROTH: Well let’s start with the change we probably won’t see. The White House says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is staying on. We’ve already seen replacements for the budget director and the White House economist named. But this is certainly a chance for Obama to reshape his economic team. Word on the street is that Summers’ replacement will likely be a woman or a chief of industry, or both. The latter, in particular, could help counter complaints that Obama is anti-business. It’s, of course, all scuttlebutt at this point, but some of the names being mentioned are Laura Tyson, who was a top economic adviser to Clinton. And Ursula Burns, who runs Xerox.
RADKE: OK. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth, thanks.
ROTH: You’re welcome.