Wow, didn't expect to see this: (behind paywall)

Lawrence Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary, called President Barack Obama Sunday to say he is pulling out of the contest to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

"I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery," Mr. Summers said in a letter to the president that followed the telephone call.

The move forces Mr. Obama to look to other potential candidates for the Fed job including Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chairwoman; Donald Kohn, a former vice chairman; and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Mr. Obama has said that he interviewed the first two. Mr. Geithner has said he isn't interested.

In a statement, Mr. Obama said he accepted Mr. Summers's decision. He described him as "a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom, and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today."

I think this is a great victory for progressive activists who pushed hard against a Summers nomination and shows again that being loud and active can show results.

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