"Welcome to the Recovery" Article Causes Controversy

John Hanlon

8/5/2010 1:03:00 AM - John Hanlon
Yesterday, I wrote about the off-putting NYT piece by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that was unfortunately entitled "Welcome to the Recovery." Mike Allen's political playbook, which reported that the Treasury Department apparently did not want that optimistic headline, noted that Politico's Ben White had addressed the controversial headline.

White wrote the following in Politico's Morning Money:

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? The Morning Money e-mail box lit up as soon as people started reading Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s op-ed in the New York Times under the headline “Welcome to the Recovery.”

All of the messages, from conservative bankers to liberal bloggers, roasted Geithner for what complainants described as his premature declaration of victory over the recession at a time when many are still suffering and the jobless rate stagnates near 10 percent. "Is this a little like ‘Mission Accomplished?" one person wrote, referring to the infamous George W. Bush aircraft carrier moment. Another: “More than one person has said to me today, ‘Doesn’t ‘Welcome to the Recovery’ sound like Mission Accomplished’”?

I'm not sure if the headline will become as famous as the "Mission Accomplished" banner but the Geithner piece is turning out to be a major public relations mistake only a few weeks before the midterm elections.