Krugman turned down the job to replace Geithner as Treasury Secretary, while overlooking the salient fact that no one ever offered him the job. Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence.
Working For Obama Would Be A Step Down
Krugman Turns Down Job As Treasury Secretary...The Problem Is That No One Ever Offered Him The Job
Yes, I’ve heard about the notion that I should be nominated as Treasury Secretary. I’m flattered, but it really is a bad idea.
Part of the reason is that I am indeed the World’s Worst Administrator — and that does matter. Someone else can do the paperwork — but an administrative job requires making hiring and firing decisions, it means keeping track of many things, and that, to say the least, is not my forte.
Oh, and there’s not a chance that I would be confirmed.
But the main point, as I see it, is that it would mean taking me out of a quasi-official job that I believe I’m good at and putting me into one I’d be bad at.
So first of all, let’s talk frankly about the job I have. The New York Times isn’t just some newspaper somewhere, it’s the nation’s paper of record. As a result, being an op-ed columnist at the Times is a pretty big deal — one I’m immensely grateful to have been granted — and those who hold the position, if they know how to use it effectively, have a lot more influence on national debate than, say, most senators. Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?
Now, officials inside the administration can of course have even more influence — but only if they’re good at a very different kind of game, that of persuading the president and his inner circle in behind-closed-doors discussion. And everything I know about myself says that I’m not very good at that game.
By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.
So again, I’m flattered — but I think I should stay in my current position as Mr. Outside, an annoying if sympathetic voice they can’t ignore.