How much power does the Secretary of the Treasury wield over the President of the United States? Apparently enough to refuse a direct order, according to a forthcoming book.
In “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” by Pulitzer-winning journalist Ron Suskind, a picture of tension is painted between the president and his economic team, with the extreme example of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ignoring an order to have Citigroup dissolved.
Suskind added that the president has been “systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers" at nearly every turn, according to an excerpt published by Politico.
Geithner is quoted as explaining, "I don’t slow walk the president on anything."
The book also sheds light on the culture of the Obama White House, and in an excerpt obtained by The Washington Post, a number of top female advisers say their roles were largely marginalized.
“This place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” former communications director Anita Dunn is quoted as saying, according to the Post. “Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.”
Suskind's book is expected to hit stores on Sept. 20.