With unemployment at 9.6 percent, why is the White House obsessed with sex?

Christina Romer has left as Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), and the White House is looking to fill the position. Can somebody please wake me when adults are making H.R. decisions at the White House?:

The White House said Aug. 9 that a successor to Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, would be named “by September 3rd, when Dr. Romer leaves her post.” That’s today, and no announcement is planned before the holiday. The West Wing has been flummoxed over a replacement. The Chicago crowd likes campaign stalwart Austan Goolsbee, now working under Romer, and no obvious alternative to him emerged. Goolsbee’s good on TV, and they need a communicator. But some aides argue for keeping a woman on the econ. team.

Emphasis added. In fact, when they were originally looking to fill the CEA position in 2008, gender was a primary qualification:

The Obama transition team is interviewing to find a woman, perhaps a minority woman, to fill the CEA chair — a Senate-confirmed position.

At the time, Megan McArdle wrote that this was a “bloody embarassment” and “More to the point, the worst financial crisis in seventy years is really not the time to see if you can brighten up the CEA offices with a nice, decorative matched set of X chromosomes.”

Now that the economy’s much worse and unemployment is 9.6 percent, they’re still hung up on hiring a woman? Are you kidding me? Note to the White House: Please hire a new CEA chairman quickly. If that person happens to be a woman, great. If not, who cares? Just get the best person for the job.

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