Just at the level of optics, since the economy is issue number one right now (and not just the real economy of jobs and living standards but the financial architecture itself) and you're trying to look forward not back, why would you pick someone for Treasury who was not only in the Clinton administration but was actually Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. Not understanding that.
Next, management shortcomings and controversial statements about women's brains that got him canned as President of Harvard.
And on top of that, the new Treasury Secretary will be charged with instituting a beefed up framework of financial sector regulation. But Summers was a key player in the 1990s deregulatory consensus that laid the groundwork for a lot of these problems. Not that that makes him verboten -- a lot of other people did too. But it does create an element of of cognitive dissonance going into the job.
I'm not sure any of these strikes against would be determinative in themselves. Perhaps each taken together would not be if the crisis of the moment demanded Summers. But is he really the only one available?
Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women, has also criticized the potential pick.
"It's very important that whoever is in key positions understands the importance of women to this economy -- and that the impact of wage inequality for women has bearing on the overall economic inequality in our society," she said. "I don't see [this] on the agendas of most of the candidates being suggested. While Larry Summers has talked about income inequality, he doesn't seem to get it that a lot of that is related to the wage gap between men and women."
Read more about Obama's Cabinet here.