warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Ron Suskind’s Book On Obama Administration Called Into Question

Hannah Madans |
September 19, 2011 | 1:57 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor

Ron Suskind's book Confidence Men will shed light on the Obama White House Administration (courtesy Creative Commons)
Ron Suskind's book Confidence Men will shed light on the Obama White House Administration (courtesy Creative Commons)
Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men will shed light on “White House dysfunction,” The Daily Beast reports.

The book is based on interviews with over 200 people.

The book has not yet been released, but is already being met with much controversy. Many officials quoted in the book claim they were misquoted or their quotes were taken out of context.

Economist and Secretary of Treasury under President Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, is quoted in the book as saying, “There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.” He told The Daily Beast, however, that this quote is “a combination of fiction, distortion and words taken out of context.”

Economic adviser Christina Romer was quoted saying that in the Obama White House “I felt like a piece of meat.” Former communications director Anita Dunn is also quoted in the book claiming that the White House was a “hostile workplace” for women, according to The Daily Beast. Now, Dunn claims she was misquoted and Romer claims she never said the quote attributed to her at all.

Suskind’s book shows rivalries in the White House leading to insubordination during the first few months of Obama’s presidency. Suskind says that the president’s top advisors were feuding and did not cooperate well, according to ABC.

“It doesn’t sound at all accurate to me,” Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s former chief economist told ABC. “You put a bunch of economists in a room, you are going to argue and squabble. We have disagreements. But the team worked well together and actually came up with unified decisions at the end of most of those arguments.”

Bernstein was present for many of the meetings referenced in the book. He was one of the White House aides interviewed by Suskind.

The book also claims that the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ignored orders from Obama calling for reconstruction of major banks, the Huffington Post reports. Geithner allegedly ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving Citigroup and continue stress tests on banks.

"The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president's authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers," Huffington Post reports the book says.

Suskind is not commenting on the book until it is released, but may have recordings to back up some of his quotes, ABC reports.

Previous books by Suskind have also had their accuracy called into question, according to ABC.


Reach associate news editor Hannah Madans here.


Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?

Or join our email list below to enjoy the weekly Neon Tommy News Highlights.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.