Why Didn’t Donald Trump Renominate Janet Yellen as Fed Chair?

Yin Bogu/Xinhua via ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

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.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate