The last time Obama faced pressure to select a woman for a principal role in the White House, he went so far as to consider a female economist that many of his staff feared had Republican sympathies.
In the summer of 2011, criticism from women — both inside and outside the White House — prompted Obama to consider Carmen Reinhart, then a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, to replace Austan Goolsbee as Council of Economic Advisers chairman, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Eventually, Reinhart’s political leanings convinced the president that she was not the right choice as his chief economist during an election year, and he settled on another woman,Rebecca Blank, then-deputy commerce secretary, for the role, said the people, who requested anonymity.
After offering her the job, he then withdrew it when some advisers discovered old academic papers by Blank in which she discussed wealth redistribution, said the people. A spokesman for Blank declined to comment on the retracted offer.
Eventually, Obama went with the remaining male candidate on his list, and gave the job to Princeton University economics professor Alan Krueger, ensuring that the White House’s economic team remained all male.
Fear of appointing a Republican and fear of appointing a Socialist.