*** Can he leave? But it would be a big surprise if Geithner did actually leave before the election. Why? Do note that confirming a new Treasury secretary would be very difficult — and painful — for the White House, because the confirmation hearings would only serve to re-litigate the administration’s economic policies at a time the presidential campaign is getting started. Obama cannot afford this, period. And if Geithner did leave, other cabinet secretaries who also may be burning out would raise their hand, too. It’s a snowball effect that would take a toll on the West Wing. Of course, the West Wing is still struggling with USING its Cabinet secretaries effectively; perhaps this Geithner scare will re-focus those efforts.