Dan Drezner is trying to figure out why President Trump didn’t do the easy thing and renominate Janet Yellen for a second term as Fed chairman:
As Trump decisions go, choosing Powell is far from his worst one. But it’s frustrating when there exists an obvious, superior choice on the menu and the president of the United States abstains from that option. In Trump’s eye, Yellen does not look like a central banker from central casting. Readers can proffer their own theories for why Trump perceived Yellen in this way. The important thing is that this decision reflects poorly on Trump, not Yellen.
I don’t get it. This one is easy: Trump was never going to renominate Yellen. It’s not because she’s a woman. It’s not because she’s a liberal. It’s not because she has a PhD. It’s not because she sports an elfin hairstyle. And it’s not because Trump wanted someone who looked better in group photos.
It’s because she was originally appointed by Barack Obama, and Trump seems to be driven almost entirely by two intertwined appetites: Maintaining his appeal to whites and overturning everything Obama ever had a hand in. Janet Yellen is one of those things. That’s it. End of story.