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Friday, April 24, 2009

Geithner's internship draws to a close

"Hang on, little Timmy needs to go to the bathroom."

For 19-year-old student Timothy Geithner, his work experience placement at the U.S. Treasury was a dream come true.

In the 100 days since he arrived at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Geithner has become a popular figure and his trademark squeaky voice was initially a welcome interruption to the sombre discussions of financial crisis.

Starting off in the mail room, within days the New York whizz kid’s mastery of the stimulus package impressed officials and he was increasing sought after for advice. But as the young economics major was given more responsibility, he began to upset the old hands in President Obama’s finance team, especially National Economic Council Director, Larry Summers.

“Larry has been mad as hell this last week and has made it clear that Geithner has to go,” a White House insider told us on condition of anonymity. “He’s convinced that the president is taking all his advice from a mail boy at the Treasury and cutting out the NEC. He’s even cooled his row with Paul Volcker to try and get the political initiative back into the White House.”

Concern over his rising influence is not limited to the executive branch of government. On Capitol Hill there have been calls for Geithner to go back to college early, or take an internship at state level. Representatives Connie Mack (R-FL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) have issued a joint statement calling for him to ‘step down and grow up’.

Media stories have begun to circulate that Geithner is only being kept on because his father worked with Obama’s late mother in the 1980s, but there have been denied by the White House. The president called the rumors ‘hogwash’ at a recent press conference, and insisted they had only played together once or twice.

But in readiness for his return, his mother is busily spring cleaning Timothy’s room in Larchmont, New York. She told reporters outside their plush house that her son was always clever beyond his years. “He’s got a great brain, no mistake, but some people feel threatened by it – they always have.”

“I hope my Timmy stays at the Treasury for the rest of the semester, but if he comes home I’ll be waiting with open arms” she added.

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