New York Times columnist Paul Krugman addressed an online campaign to install him as treasury secretary on Monday — with a resounding “no thanks.”
Krugman expressed appreciation for the support but explained that heading the Treasury Department would mean leaving a job he is good at for one he is not.
“I’m flattered, but it really is a bad idea,” Krugman wrote on his Times blog, adding that he is the “World’s Worst Administrator” and “there’s not a chance that I would be confirmed.” (RELATED: MoveOn.org, Danny Glover push Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary)
MoveOn.org and actor/activist Danny Glover has been circulating a petition encouraging President Barack Obama to tap the liberal Nobel Prize winner to succeed outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The petition has attracted more than 200,000 signatures.
Krugman explained that working for the government would likely cause his voice to be diminished — noting that he already has more influence than most senators, and “Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?”
“By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates,” he wrote.
“So again, I’m flattered — but I think I should stay in my current position as Mr. Outside, an annoying if sympathetic voice they can’t ignore.”
Despite Krugman’s lack of enthusiasm for the idea, the petition remains active while Glover and MoveOn.org continue to push for a Krugman nomination over email throughout the day, encouraging members to sign on and share the campaign with their friends.