Now that Larry Summers has pulled his name for consideration to be the next Federal Reserve chairman, President Barack Obama's safest choice is Janet Yellen, but keeping Ben Bernanke may still be a possibility, said Tony Fratto, former White House press secretary in the George W. Bush administration.
"Whenever people would say the White House really wants Larry Summers, I would say … who's their second choice," Fratto said on "Squawk Box" Monday, "because the opposition to him was deep and personal, and at some levels very vicious."
The withdrawal Sunday of Summers—a former Bill Clinton-era Treasury Secretary and more recently a top Obama economic adviser—followed growing resistance from Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, which is the panel charged with sending any nomination to the full Senate for a vote.
U.S. stocks futures on Monday were strongly higher on the news. (Read more: Get ready for a Summers rally in the stock market)
"The safest choice is Yellen," Fratto continued. "I think one choice nobody has really talked about, which I really believe is still a possibility until someone rules it out, is that you keep the best guy for the job in the job—that's Ben Bernanke."