This weekend, the President should softpedal his support for Bernanke in such a way that any insider will recognize it as a withdrawal. It's perfect. If the Democrats had sought to replace Bernanke on their own, it would have ginned up accusations of irresponsibility. But with the GOP getting in line (McCain added his 'nay' vote today) this is an amazing opportunity. Obama will have the ability to appoint a new Fed Chairman. This is an enormous amount of power that may fall into his lap. And tagging it as Obama's defeat is not going to work, not when Bernanke was inherited. Greenspan's problem was that he as an Ayn Randist who never really understood that self-interest was an insufficient cushion against economic anarchy. Bernanke, being Greenspan's annointed, is not of a wholly different mode. We need a real institutionalist to be appointed to that spot. Someone who understands that sound financial regulation is not "red tape" but the sine qua non of a healthy financial system. This is not a good time for Barack Obama to support the unpopular Fed chairman, not when withdrawing his support could actually empower the Democratic agenda.