By Ralph Schwartz
No, I’m not referring to Dan Pike.
But Pike and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whom the link below is about, share what appears to be a normal urge among outgoing public officials — let me tell you what I really think.
I didn’t cover Pike when he was mayor, but I’ve interviewed him a handful of times since then. He doesn’t come across as bashful about expressing how he really thinks and feels. But this is the first chance the former mayor, who was criticized over his handling of the Port of Bellingham and waterfront redevelopment, has enough information to weigh in on the job Mayor Kelli Linville and the port are doing with redevelopment efforts.
I get into all that in today’s paper. As for Geithner, Politico is reporting that he is preparing to write a book on a topic he was also much maligned for — the Troubled Asset Relief Program, b.k.a. the bank bailout, that he claims saved the United States from a second Great Depression. His critics (which happen to be as far right as the tea party and as far left as the Occupy movement) say all it did was feather the nests of the same people who caused the financial collapse in the first place.
The Politico report says:
Until now, Geithner has not been able to tell his unvarnished version of the story. In on-the-record interviews while in office, he was often restrained in defending the administration’s crisis response despite what seemed like a clear desire to rip into his critics.
I would read that book. It’s so refreshing to hear a public official speak candidly. That’s why Pike is front-page news, in my opinion (although I don’t make story-placement decisions, for the record).