ECONOMY/GARY COHN/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Lawrence Kudlow is set to become the 11th person to serve as the director of the White House National Economic Council, replacing Gary Cohn.
Mr. Cohn boosted the council’s effectiveness, compared to others in the Trump administration, in part because he delegated significant autonomy to the specialists on tax, finance, health care and infrastructure whom he recruited to join the policy-making body.
Operating out of the White House, the NEC is tasked with ensuring economic policy across different executive branch agencies is on the same page, and the NEC director often has to hash out interagency disagreements.
President Bill Clinton created the body in 1993 to play that process-oriented role, and it had a similar function in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
While the NEC has had directors with a high profile, such as Mr. Cohn or former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, it has just as often been led by lesser-known workhorse policy wonks. Their effectiveness rises and falls with their ability to resolve internal disputes and translate the president’s goals into actual policies.
People familiar with the NEC’s dynamic say Mr. Kudlow’s appointment is unlikely to lead to major turnover on the staff, which might have been the case if one of Mr. Cohn’s rivals, such as trade adviser Peter Navarro, had gotten the job instead.”
–Nick Timiraos, “What to Expect From National Economic Council Under Lawrence Kudlow,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar. 15, 2018, 9:44am