BY Kenneth R. Bazinet
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
The White House announced Tuesday that chief economic adviser Larry Summers is quitting by year's end.
There were whispers for weeks that Summers, who is known for being arrogant and wearing his lunch on his tie, would be a fall guy for the sputtering economic recovery.
White House aides insist that isn't the case with Geithner. But they once said the same about Summers, who follows ex-economic team members Peter Orszag and Christine Romer out the door.
Obama issued a tribute to Summers, who will return to Harvard as an economics professor.
"I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry's brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team," he said.
But liberals cheered Summers' departure. "When President Obama fills this important economic position, Americans need him to appoint a champion for regular working folks, not Wall Street tycoons," said Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Stephanie Taylor.
Republicans said Obama needs to change course, not just his players. "How can this administration continue to defend Obama's economic policies if they can't defend the team responsible for creating them?" asked the Republican National Committee.