Much is being made by the political blogosphere of the attendance by former Bush administration Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill and and former SEC chairman (also appointed by Bush) William Donaldson at Barack Obama's economic summit meeting on Monday.
But the full list of attendees, provided by MSNBC's First Read, is even more noteworthy. In addition to such luminaries as Warren Buffett, former Fed chairman Paul Volcker and former Clinton Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, the CEOs of Google, JP Morgan Chase and Pepsico are also dropping by. And let's not ignore Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of SEIU, one of the most powerful unions in the country, or John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, and Robert Reich. And that's just a taste.
Getting all these people together in one place would be an impressive feat on any day. But making it all happen on the first Monday after the accomplishment of the massive, logistically complex tour de force of Obama's foreign trip is simply remarkable.
Update: Before kicking reporters out of the summit meeting, Obama laid out an agenda:
So this is a first meeting. And I'd like to focus on the new and emerging challenges facing the U.S. economy around three particular areas: the recent job losses, wage declines, and low consumer confidence; the situation in the financial markets, including the credit crunch and recent bank failures and their impact on the overall economy; and the causes and implications of rising prices for food, oil, and other commodities.
Two hours should be more than enough time to figure out how to manage all that stuff.