WASHINGTON -- Larry Summers, the top presidential economic adviser whose pro-bank philosophy made him a lightning rod for liberal critics of the Obama administration's domestic policies, is giving his final public address before stepping down from his job in a surprising venue.
Summers will speak next Monday at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank whose staff has been pretty consistently critical of what they consider the administration's lackluster performance on job creation and other Main Street issues.
Summers's selection by Obama to run his National Economic Council was greeted with wails from progressive economists at the time. By contrast, his resignation announcement this fall was greeted with sighs of relief.
So how did he end up speaking at EPI? Larry Mishel, EPI's president, tells HuffPost: "This developed in a lunch conversation I had with Larry Summers a few weeks ago."
Just because they don't see eye to eye doesn't mean they can't talk to each other.
Apparently, Summers has given speeches at such places as the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations during his tenure -- but never at EPI.
Mishel explained: "I have engaged Larry Summers on economic issues for over 20 years, including during his recent service at the NEC, and I look forward to hearing him provide his exiting thoughts, including answering questions."
The program promises that Summers "will offer perspectives on the past two years and his thoughts about the future" and that he "will respond to questions from the media and audience after the speech."
Dan Froomkin is senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post. You can send him an e-mail, bookmark his page; subscribe to his RSS feed, follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, and/or become a fan and get e-mail alerts when he writes.
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