Markey steers clear of debate on successor to Bernanke at Fed

US Senator Edward J. Markey today declined to weigh in on who should succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, taking a different approach on the issue than his fellow Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.

On Friday, Warren signed a letter calling on President Obama to appoint Janet Yellen to head the Fed, backing her instead of former Obama economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers, another reported candidate for the position. Markey’s office said at the time he had not signed the letter, which has been circulating among Democrats.

Speaking with reporters this evening in Quincy, Markey said he had not signed the letter and declined to take a position on who he thought should succeed Bernanke.

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Asked why he had not signed onto the letter in support of Yellen, the current vice chairwoman of the Fed, Markey paused for a few seconds.

“I’m going to ...,” he said, pausing again, appearing to choose his words very carefully. “... leave it to the president to make the decision.”

“The president has a big decision to make and I think that he is going to make that decision based upon his own judgment as to the best person he thinks can do that job,” Markey said.

Markey declined to say whether he thought Summers or Yellen would be a better fit for the position.

Bernanke’s term is up in January.