Austan Goolsbee will be leaving the White House as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors this fall and will return to the University of Chicago, the New York Times reported today. Goolsbee was one of Barack Obama’s original economic advisors during his campaign for the presidency. Once Obama won, he was relegated to primarily being someone who appeared on television to defend a series of economic policies that were in disagreement with the ideas that he promoted prior to the election, as the Geithner team achieved primacy with their devotion to defending Wall Street at the expense of job creation.

Austan Goolsbee official portrait 2

Announcing his resignation, Obama made the following statement: “Since I first ran for the U.S. Senate, Austan has been a close friend and one of my most trusted advisers,” Mr. Obama said in a statement late Monday. “Over the past several years, he has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and although there is still much work ahead, his insights and counsel have helped lead us toward an economy that is growing and creating millions of jobs. He is one of America’s great economic thinkers.”

Goolsbee lacked the Clinton political connections of most of those in the Obama economic team which was deemed essential to their achieving easy confirmation. However, as their ideas proved more amenable to the Wall Street interests that guided it and had virtually no plans to reduce unemployment, they each returned to their cushy high-paying jobs that they had prior to wallowing through the mire of Washington. Notably, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, and Christina Romer were all promoted above him in the first two years. During the auto bailout negotiations, Summers would not permit Goolsbee to attend; the only way he was able to get his views out were to schedule private meetings with Obama. Eventually, Obama sided with Summers, bailing out Chrysler as well as GM.

Goolsbee, in the Presidential campaign, had argued for governmental partnerships to develop innovation in industry, education, and the infrastructure. Paul Voelker, who was another economic voice that was little heeded by the administration during the essential early days when it was determined that an allegiance to lower Manhattan was more essential than developing jobs in the rest of the nation, praised Goolsbee for his time in DC.

He is expected to play an informal role in the upcoming Presidential campaign.