Scott Lanman
January 25, 2010

Ben S. Bernanke will keep his job as Federal Reserve chairman, the White House and the Senate’s senior Republican predicted two days after wavering support among some Democrats helped drive stock prices lower.

[efoods]President Barack Obama “is very confident that the chairman will be confirmed,” David Axelrod, a senior White House adviser, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Bernanke will have “bipartisan support in the Senate” even as a number of his party are opposed.

The assurances followed declarations of support for Bernanke from the top two Democrats in the Senate, Nevada’s Harry Reid and Richard Durbin of Illinois, who earlier said they were undecided. John McCain, the Republican 2008 presidential nominee, and John Cornyn, who runs the party’s senate campaign committee this year, are against him. Online traders yesterday raised the odds of approval to 92 percent from as low as 65 percent on Jan. 22.

“We’ve dodged the bullet on this one,” said Greg Valliere, chief policy strategist at Potomac Research Group in Washington. “People were aghast by what happened in the markets on Friday, and do they really want to get angry letters from constituents who have lost money in the stock market because of the Bernanke vote?”


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