Obama, Rolling Stone, and the Big Punt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 25 2012 3:36 PM

Obama, Rolling Stone, and the Big Punt

The Rolling Stone interview with President Obama begins with Jan Wenner bestowing a gift of socks and contains this answer from the president: "I'm not going to make news in this publication." But he gets close! The last time RS sat down with Obama, they asked him why his team was so close to the Wall Street Collapse, why he hadn't hired crusaders instead. Obama's answer:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Tim Geithner never worked for Goldman; Larry Summers didn't work for Goldman. There is no doubt that I brought in a bunch of folks who understand the financial markets, the same way, by the way, that FDR brought in a lot of folks who understood the financial markets after the crash, including Joe Kennedy, because my number-one job at that point was making sure that we did not have a full-fledged financial meltdown.
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This didn't make a ton of sense, and didn't address the left's complaint with Geithner. "A comparable figure [to Kennedy]," wrote Ron Suskind, "is precisely what he has needed, and lacked."

In the new interview, Wenner follows up and asks why new information hasn't led to Wall Street prosecutions. Where's the AG on this one. Obama:

I think there's still possibilities of criminal prosecutions. But what I've instructed the attorney general to do is to follow the evidence and follow the law. That's how our system works.
What is very relevant, I think, is that you have a Republican Congress, and Republican candidates for president, who have actively stated that they want to roll back the financial regulations that have been put in place. They want to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is one more example of how they have drifted off of what had traditionally been bipartisan ideas.

Right, sure, but that wasn't the question. Why hasn't the DOJ gone after any of this?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.