“Business experience”

Frank Rich:

[Tim Geithner] comes with none of Summers’s personal baggage, but his sparkling résumé is missing one crucial asset: experience outside academe and government, in the real world of business and finance. Postgraduate finishing school at Kissinger & Associates doesn’t count.

Oh, like Robert Rubin? Head of the Risk Arbitrage division at Goldman Sachs for 30 years? Who didn’t meet any deregulation he didn’t like?

The criticism is well-taken, but massive amounts of experience in the “business world” is hardly an end-all cure. In fact, it has been the norm throughout our country’s history. If there were a brilliant candidate with a hefty history of good judgment, the fact that they haven’t worked for Lehman Brothers should in no way be a disqualifier. (And my hypothetical candidate in this construction is not Tim Geithner — I just don’t know enough about him.)