Brutal Day Puts Geithner on the Defensive

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2009 8:49 PM CST
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stands during a news conference detailing the administrations plans for the economic recovery Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – It's safe to say the honeymoon's over for Tim Geithner. The Treasury chief—whose very appointment way back when gave the market a lift—spent all day on the defensive after unveiling the administration's economic plan, writes Emily Kaiser of Reuters. Wall Street tanked, interviewers dogged him with questions about his credibility, and lawmakers let him have it with criticism once reserved for Henry Paulson. He seems more popular "in theory than in practice," Kaiser notes.

"We did not see convincing evidence that the government is moving away from its Band-Aid approach to helping banks," said an exec at Merk Investments. “A lot of us are very, very skeptical,” added Sen. Richard Shelby. "Is there a concrete plan here?" Geithner and President Obama "will clearly have to invest more time, energy, and political capital into explaining the package and selling it to Congress," write Victoria McGrane and Lisa Lerer of Politico. Otherwise, Congress will slow it down every step of the way.