Two days ago I saw Austan Goolsbee at the Daily Show (I wish I could share the video but wordpress mangles it up). He did his usual clever, fast but then a bit too fast, tripping on himself. Compared to Christina Romer, Goldsbee is a very different kind of Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Most Chairman are not like him. They are on call of the President, write their reports, do whatever they do backstage and go the Hill to answer questions from the “other” branch of government. And then there are folks like Leon Keyserling that exploded the intended passivity of the job by starting a public fight on economic policy within the White House. And folks like Walter Heller, the Chairman during the Kennedy Administration, that was never shy from publicity, was regularly profiled in the magazines and made it to the cover of Time (twice!).
Goolsbee is of the Heller variety, take away the glasses. He goes public, to comedy shows, to talk shows, to YouTube, paladin for the policies of the President. He poses pedagogically, but his message is a bit less than learning and a bit more than propaganda.