Geithner's missed opportunity

October 18, 2010: 9:18 PM ET

Why can't Obama officials acknowledge that insulting the business community is counterproductive?

U.S. Secretary Timothy Geithner spoke Monday afternoon in Silicon Valley in an unusually friendly setting, far from Washington, D.C., and being questioned by the polite, witty billionaire and former journalist Michael Moritz. He might have used his appearance in front of the Commonwealth Club in Palo Alto, Calif., to convince the business community that the Obama administration is simpatico. He said as much, even evoking that famous Republic Calvin Coolidge in assuring his audience that President Obama understands that "the business of America is business."

But Geithner wasn't convincing. He is articulate, even warm, obviously intelligent and quick on his feet. But he doesn't stray far from his script, which perhaps is what one would expect -- and even want -- from the finance minister of what is still the world's largest economy. More

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