I’ve been keeping an eye on Tim Geithner’s confirmation hearings this morning: they seem to be going pretty much according to plan — a ritual hazing followed by a certain confirmation. (The NYT and WSJ are live-blogging.) Geithner is suitably contrite about both his tax problems and his role as a top bank supervisor during the biggest financial-sector meltdown in living memory. But he’s also being very vague about what he intends to actually do if and when he goes to Treasury.
Tactically, the decision to say little of substance might well make sense, in terms of maximizing his chances of getting confirmed: there’s no point in giving the lawmakers something really substantive to object to. But I also get the feeling that Geithner genuinely doesn’t know what he’s going to do: this isn’t like a Supreme Court nominee pretending that he hasn’t ever thought about Roe vs Wade. It might be nice if one of the assembled senators simply asked the nominee what kind of timetable he’s working on, in terms of when he’s going to make up his mind and actually implement new policies.