President Barack Obama's handling of the Federal Reserve chairman nomination process shows signs of weakness in his ability as a leader, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick told CNBC.
"The challenge for the President is that, after having his first preference denied by his own party, to then pick somebody who seems to be pressed forward by members of his party, raises some questions about his own authority as President," Zoellick, who now serves on the board of Singapore based investment firm Temasek Holdings, said in an exclusive interview with CNBC on Sunday.
Last week Obama's favored candidate for the role of Fed chairperson, Lawrence Summers, withdrew his name from consideration, leaving vice-chair Janet Yellen as the leading contender for the role, and sparked speculation over how much power the President has over his own party.
"[Obama] is just in the first year of his second term. The failure to understand that his own democratic caucus was not going to support him on the vote on Syria, plus the Larry Summers issue, raises questions about what influence he will have in his own party," Zoellick said, referring to the lack of support Obama received over a potential military strike on Syria.
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