Paul Krugman on Meeting President Bush and Going into Government

Question: What was it like meeting President Bush?

Paul Krugman: Everyone was on their best behavior. No, this is not the point to make a scene. He knew that, I knew that, so it was just a slightly awkward occasion. My wife went to the great job of making small talk. Question: Did you have much of a conversation? Krugman: No. Not much. I was grateful to her for doing better at it than I did. Question: Why don’t you go into government Krugman: I think… Well, two things. One is, temperamentally, I’m really unsuited. I mean, you really have to ask yourself, you know, would you deal well with this and I’m, you know, I’m not tactful, I’m not very good at negotiating bureaucratic stuff, and I’m the world’s worst organizer, so I don’t want to do that. And, look, I’ve got, courtesy of the New York Times, I’ve got a pretty good bully pulpit of my own there. I think I probably have as much ability to weigh in on the issues and indirectly effect the policy debate from where I am, as I would in anything short of being Secretary of Treasury, and I would be a disastrous Secretary of the Treasury, so I think I like where I am right now.

Krugman talks about meeting President Bush after winning the Nobel and why he has decided not to go into government.

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