There was grumbling and Ben Bernanke actually had to pick up the phone and ask for votes, but the fat cat bankers on Wall Street really didn't have much to worry about. They own Washington: No Fed chairman has ever been rejected by the Senate, and Bernanke coasted to a second term by a 70-30 vote today.
Bernanke was so busy cozying up to Wall Street that he couldn't see an economic calamity thundering our way, but now he's getting pats on the back for staving off another Great Depression. President Obama's support for Bernanke raises uncomfortable questions
about who he's trying to please. Both of our senators voted to confirm, of course:
: "We were fortunate to have Ben Bernanke at the helm as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when our country nearly slid into a depression. While some of the Fed's actions might have been extreme, it's impossible to know what would have happened otherwise. If we avoided a depression, he certainly deserves some of the credit."
: "In the end, what I want in a Federal Reserve chairman is someone who is non-partisan, someone who has a working knowledge of what brought about the financial crisis and the actions taken to prevent an even deeper recession, and someone who will have a sense of ownership and responsibility - not deniability - when it comes to unwinding the Fed's $2.2 trillion balance sheet in a way that doesn't do damage to our country. I believe Ben Bernanke is that person. While he probably hasn't made all the right calls - I'm not aware of anyone involved in the financial crisis that has - I support his confirmation."