What should be the big issues of the 2008 election?

Lawrence H. Summers is an American economist. He is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University, where he became one of the university's youngest tenured faculty at age 28.

The author of over 150 journal articles, Dr. Summers' wide-ranging contributions to economic research were recognized with the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40. He was also the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award for outstanding scientific achievement.

Beyond his academic career, Dr. Summers has held a number of distinguished appointments in government. He previously served as Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration, Secretary of the Treasury for the Clinton Administration, and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Lawrence Summers received his S.B. from MIT and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He and his wife Elisa New, a professor of English at Harvard, have six children.

  • Transcript


Question: What should be the big issues of the 2008 election?

Lawrence Summers: I suspect in the election, Iraq, economic security for middle class families, attitudes towards the social issues, are likely to be central concerns in the election, rather than these longer term and more profound challenges. But I suspect the debates over those issues will give a chance for candidates to demonstrate their philosophical orientation, and perhaps something about their competence as potential leaders and managers of the federal government.

Recorded On: June 13, 2007