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Washington Matters

Volcker for Obama... Greenspan for Paul?

Federal Reserve chiefs rarely get involved in politics -- and endorsing a presidential candidate is nearly unheard of. So eyebrows shot up when Paul Volcker publicly backed Democratic candidate Barack Obama. But maybe it's not so surprising. Ever since his retirement in 1987, Volcker has been deeply concerned about the declining interest in public service. He has headed commissions and set up an endowment to draw people into government service. He must love seeing the excitement and passions Obama has stirred, especially in younger voters.

So if past Federal Reserve chiefs are going to get into the act, does this mean that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who once touted the usefulness of a gold standard as a way to rein in inflation, will endorse Republican candidate Ron Paul because he backs a return to the gold standard? Doubtful. Greenspan dropped the idea while he was at the Fed and brushed it aside when Paul asked about it during a House hearing in 2005.