President Barack Obama is playing politics with his choice for Federal Reserve chair, but he'll get his nominee confirmed on Capitol Hill because "it's too serious a job," said Glenn Hubbard, advisor to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and economic advisor to George W. Bush.
"This is the first time I've ever seen a president fan political flames like this," Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview Monday.
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He also thought the discussion of whether Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen should get the top post because she's a woman is ridiculous. "Yellen is a great economist, great listener, great consensus builder," Hubbard explained. "She's great, not because she's a woman."
Hubbard wouldn't say whether he'd pick Yellen or Larry Summers, former Clinton Treasury secretary and Obama economic advisor. "Summers is an excellent economist. The president has a number of excellent economists on the list he's talked about."
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"We do need crisis experience. And the good news is a number of people the president is looking at have that experience," he added. "[But] the first question is 'what' before 'who.' What do you want the next Fed chairman to be? It needs to be someone who understands the economy, understands financial markets and can lead a consensus-based organization."
The current Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, is not expected to serve for a third time when his term ends in January. The debate over Bernanke's possible departure revved up in June after President Obama hinted in a Charlie Rose interview that the Fed chief may be on his way out.
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