As the new economic policy director on Senator Obama's presidential bid, Jason Furman will have to juggle the competing demands of labor leaders, corporate titans, scoop-seeking reporters, and erudite academics. His experience as a White House adviser and aide to a Nobel-winning economist will surely come in handy, but in the maelstrom of a fast-moving campaign he may draw more on the skills he honed two decades ago juggling torches, knives, and bowling balls for tourists on the streets of New York.
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"It was mostly in Washington Square Park and on Columbus Avenue," Mr. Furman, 37, said in an interview, taking care not to exaggerate the abilities he showcased as a high school student. "Sometimes it was a bowling ball and egg and an apple. I never did three bowling balls. Just one."