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As Markets Quake, Clinton And Obama Grab Econo-Gurus

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have effectively erased any lingering doubt over whether the economy is the most important issue in the Democratic race for president.

A debate Monday night in Myrtle Beach, to the extent that it was about issues at all, was contested in the arena of tax rebates, health care mandates and stimulus plans. It was the culmination in this primary of a shift from the more glamorous issues of war and peace and to the dry, kitchen-table topics of domestic economic policy.

And that means that policy wonks, econo-nerds with last names like Goolsbee and Sperling, have supplanted the campaigns’ high-profile foreign policy firmament as the key advisers upon whom the hopes of the candidates hinge, waging complex proxy wars This is a list of proxy wars. Pre-World War 1
  • Samoan Civil War, 1898-1899
  • Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
  • Chinese civil war, 1927-1950
Cold War
  • Greek Civil War, 1946-1949
 through the candidates and offering grist for reporters, pundits and bloggers, whose reaction to each complex rollout these days starts arriving well within the hour.

“It’s good that the issues are returning to the forefront after being overshadowed by Iraq and similar issues for so many years,” said Gene Sperling, Hillary Clinton’s chief economic adviser and Bill Clinton’s former national economic adviser.

Loquacious lo·qua·cious  
Very talkative; garrulous.

[From Latin loqux, loqu
 when on topic but generally low key, Mr. Sperling, 49, said the increased emphasis on economic issues meant that “a candidate or policy maker could make news on the domestic economy,” especially because there is “a greater receptivity in the media.”

Mr. Sperling, of course, is not new to the national limelight. A firm believer in promoting traditionally progressive values while unapologetically making the case for private sector growth, market incentives, and the inevitability of globalization globalization

Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation
 (he wrote a book called The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity), Mr. Sperling has been on the national political scene for more than 15 years.

As such, he had a word of warning to his counterparts, who perhaps were letting their new relevance to the national debate in the year of a presidential election go to their heads.

“Policy advisers who think major shifts in national news coverage are about them don’t last long, nor should they,” he said.

Don’t tell that to Austan Goolsbee, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser and wunderkind wun·der·kind  
n. pl. wun·der·kin·der
1. A child prodigy.

2. A person of remarkable talent or ability who achieves great success or acclaim at an early age.
 economist, who since age 25 has been a professor at the University of Chicago. Mr. Goolsbee, adoringly known as “GSB GSB Graduate School of Business (Stanford)
GSB Graduate School of Business (Chicago)
GSB Government of the Student Body (Iowa State University, Ames, IA) 
” on economic blogs, wrote early and presciently pre·scient  
1. Of or relating to prescience.

2. Possessing prescience.

[French, from Old French, from Latin praesci
 about how the Internet would affect pricing, and has since written on a broad array of topics for publications including The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 Times, Slate and Business Week. The Financial Times called the spindly spin·dly  
adj. spin·dli·er, spin·dli·est
Slender and elongated, especially in a way that suggests weakness.


[-dlier, -dliest
 and demonstrative LEGACY, DEMONSTRATIVE. A demonstrative legacy is a bequest of a certain sum of money; intended for the legatee at all events, with a fund particularly referred to for its payment; so that if the estate be not the testator's property at his death, the legacy will not fail: but be payable  38-year-old one of the “Gurus of the Future,” and even conservatives like George Will have written of him approvingly.

(Mr. Goolsbee, a former national debate finalist at Yale—and a serious contender in high school at Milton Academy, where, in 1987, he took second place in the National Forensic League The National Forensic League is one of two major U.S. national organizations which direct high school competitive speech events. (The other is the National Catholic Forensic League or NCFL.). The National Committee meets several times a year for rules revision.  championship tournament for his delivery of a speech he wrote himself called “Rite of Passage rite of passage
A ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.
”—has the reputation as something of an eccentric. “The one thing you don’t want to do is share an office with Goolsbee, as I do at the campaign,” said David Axelrod, the Obama campaign’s chief adviser. “Because you never get anything done. He’s always regaling you with stories.”)

Mr. Goolsbee is palpably enjoying his time as Mr. Obama’s economic sage.

“It couldn’t be a bigger difference from my day job,” said Mr. Goolsbee.

A college pal of Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power, with whom he knocked on doors in the days before the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Goolsbee argues that the campaign is something of an economics hothouse hothouse: see greenhouse. .

“It’s funny,” he said. “I don’t know what it says about the candidates, but the three of us come from different worlds. Most of the Clinton team are kind of the wise political hands from the 90’s. Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac.
 [Hindrey, John Edwards’ chief economic adviser] is more of a businessman and a friend and supporter of Senator Edwards. And I’m an academic and an economist, and the people that we have tended to loop in are Ph.D. economist types.”

That is a characterization to which Mr. Sperling takes strong exception.

“No,” he said when told of Mr. Goolsbee’s depiction. “Senator Clinton likes to take in a broad base of top academic views but also to integrate that with pragmatic analysis of what policies work in the real world and whether they’re capable of being passed.”

This is just one of the many things the two leading economists, whose generational differences reflect those of their candidates, disagree on.

“There is more pressure in general on the campaign, and I think certainly there was a time very early in the summer when most of the campaigns were at a very high level; there weren’t a lot of specifics going around.”

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Author:Jason Horowitz
Publication:The New York Observer
Date:Jan 22, 2008
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