After reading the Journal today and watching the grilling of Tim Geithner, I had to wonder what you need to do to be a Treasury Secretary and get noticed by the general public. While I do share some of their distaste of Geithner, the Congressmen who think they are winning votes by bashing poor Timmy on CSpan should take note. This from the WSJ:
In the poll, just 11% of Americans feel positively about the Treasury chief. Nearly one in five have negative feelings about him, while more than half said they didn’t know his name or weren’t sure.
I figured that the numbers would be higher for Paulson because he is 1) kinda weird looking (for some reason he always reminds me of Beaker) 2) kinda weird sounding (Telly Savalas Marge Simpson’s sisters) 3) a former CEO of Goldman and 4) was actually in the seat when poopy hit the fan and the market tanked. But as usual I figured wrong. It appears even at the height of the financial crisis he had about the same name recognition as Geithner. This is from a New7 SurveyUSA poll from September 25, 2008:
Is your opinion of Henry Paulson … favorable? Unfavorable? Neutral? Or, do you have no opinion of Henry Paulson?
28% No Opinion
OK. Not quite the same as not knowing his name but pretty close. But I would image many people who didn’t know who he was said neutral just as not to sound stupid to the pollster. John Snow? Anyone? Anyone?