President Obama suggesting at that town hall meeting Monday the top members of his economic team might be leaving was followed by comments from his press secretary today that did nothing to dispel the impression. And then came the Summers announcement.
It all certainly makes sense. His original chief economic adviser Christina Romer had already left after a rocky tenure, in which among other things she claimed that passing that stimulus spin-fest would hold the jobless rate at eight percent.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, meanwhile -- the official judge of such matters -- now says the recession has been over since June of last year. If that's true, it means the recession ended before the stimulus could even take effect.
In political terms, though, the recession is not over and will not be until the unemployment rate starts coming down and rapidly, which means the stimulus has failed twice. It didn't end the recession, and it didn't bring the jobless rate down either.
Yet, it remains the centerpiece of the Obama economic program, which brings us back to the rest of the president's top economic advisers, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the departing National Economic Council head Larry Summers. The president says they've done an "outstanding job."
Loyalty to subordinates is a welcome quality in the president. In this case, though, one must hope he doesn't mean it... or worse, believe it.