When Larry Summers Wants A Diet Coke YOU'LL KNOW

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The latest issue of the New Yorker has a story on Larry Summers and his back-up dancers, i.e. Obama's economic team. Obviously when we talk about Summers, we talk about two things: his predilection for Diet Coke and for sleeping during important meetings. Concerning the former, what does the president's top adviser do when he wants somea that in his bloodstream, ASAP? When he's at the White House there's a dedicated team of servant boys whose sole purpose is to stand very still against the wall at the back of Summer's office, loaded turkey basters in hand.* At the slightest cock of an eyebrow, the boys know what to do. (Tim Geithner has also been tasked with the responsibility of collecting Summers' tissue spunk for chemists to analyze how elevated LS's testosterone levels are and using the data to track down to the minute when he might get a hankering for a hit.)
It's when Summers ventures out of the comforts of the WH--his aides don't travel with-- that things get dicey. Some offices aren't stocked with soft drinks. Some people he takes meetings with don't know to look for facial cues. Some amateurs who maybe don't want to see a recovery wait until it's too late to get the big man what he needs.

Summers looked exhausted. The previous day, he hadn't left the White House until after midnight, and he was up at dawn to make the flight to Detroit. As Granholm talked about layoffs, he eyed a bottle of soda on the table in front of her. Summers drinks many Diet Cokes a day, and he was badly in need of one. He got up, his shirttails peeking out from underneath his jacket, and shuffled over to a counter at the side of the room in search of a caffeinated beverage. All he found was an empty glass, which he carried back to his seat. The manufacturers took turns explaining their plight. Wes Smith, of E. & E. Manufacturing, argued that although the public hates bailouts, "helping manufacturing is popular."
As they spoke, Summers caught [Governor Jennifer] Granholm's attention and mimed a request for some of her soda. She moved the bottle closer to him, smiling. He drank quickly, but it didn't help. He shifted his weight in his chair. He made jerky, shaking motions with his head. He ran a hand through his hair. Still, by the time Mario Sciberras, of Saline Lectronics, was speaking about what he would do with one of the new loans, Summers was asleep. This is something of a habit: he has fallen asleep in two public meetings--and, reportedly, one private meeting--with the President this year.

Obviously there's no one to blame here but Jennifer. So what happened next? Was the entire meeting shot to shit? Was Summers out for the next hour? Did they have to go back over everything he missed during nap time? I think not.
*There's no time to pop open a can or unscrew a top. They're like a firing squad back there.

Yet, when Summers came alive in the Mayor's office, he didn't appear to have missed a thing.

Notice the author's word choice here-- Summers didn't appear to have missed a thing. The truth is, he didn't have a clue as to what was going on. For all he knew they'd spent the previous ten minutes discussing boob tassels. They could've and he still would've kept up. And why? Because what we're dealing with here is a professional. Do you have any idea how many times this guy has fallen asleep on the job? Literally, thousands. We just know about the instances that have been captured on camera. At this point, he's got the nod-head-vigorously chime-in-with-a-yes-yes-sure, and when in doubt seductively-finger-your-neck-folds-in-an-attempt-to-distract-everyone routine down pat. New Yorker, you've been had.

Related

Larry Summers Supposedly Too Rough Around The Edges To Be Named Fed Chairman

Who should replace Ben S. Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in January 2014? If anyone cared to ask us, we'd say no one: we like our Fed Chairman soft-spoken, bearded, and just as comfortable in dad jeans as they are in their bespoke Jos. A. Bank suits. But nobody asked and, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bernanke has told "close friends" that regardless of whether or not Obama wins a second term, he's ready to move on. Apparently qualified successors are few and far between and while Larry Summers is said to be "at the top of the list," the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner may finally be granted freedom from his own personal Guantanamo Bay and will also necessitate a replacement who will have to work closely with the new Fed Chair poses some staffing issues, on account of the perception that Summers is somewhat difficult to work with. ...[Summers is] a serious economist who knows his numbers and has a worldview that is similar to the president’s. He would be expected to continue the loose money policy of Mr. Bernanke. But one of the knocks against Mr. Summers is that he has a reputation for not playing well with others. He has had his own run-ins with the president. And if you consider the Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman as a tag team, you would have to be confident that whomever you pick for Treasury secretary would get along well with Mr. Summers. So he called some former students assholes. So he'll cut a bitch for getting between him and his steady stream of Diet Coke. So he chooses to sleep through co-workers' particularly boring presentations. So he makes female colleagues feel like "pieces of meat." So he shoots people unequivocal death stares that say, "I could have you killed and no one would find out" for the mere suggestion he might want to consider wearing socks. Is all that to say he's not an otherwise affable guy who'd make a fine workmate and prized addition to an office softball team? Casting Dual Roles At Treasury And The Fed [Dealbook]