Lawrence Summers, a former top economic aide to President Barack Obama and a Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, has withdrawn from consideration to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, the president said on Sunday.
"Earlier today, I spoke with Larry Summers and accepted his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for Chairman of the Federal Reserve," Obama said in a statement.
Summers, widely regarded as a brilliant economist and a shrewd and decisive policy-maker, was considered to be the front-runner for the position to replace Bernanke, whose second term expires in January. However, Summers was dogged by controversies including his support for deregulation in the 1990s and comments he made about women's aptitude while president of Harvard.
Word that the president was leaning toward nominating Summers over Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen elicited an unprecedented amount of controversy for a potential nominee to run the U.S. central bank. Four Democratic senators on the Senate Banking Committee were expected to vote against him if nominated by the president.