The Senate has confirmed Ben Bernanke for another term as head of the Federal Reserve.
The vote was 70-30.
The opposition came from both the right and left. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that Bernanke "fiddled while our markets burned," sharing the view that Bernanke failed to pay attention to the banking industry until it was too late. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Bernanke "was asleep at the switch while Wall Street became a gambling casino."
A statement from Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) sums up the argument for Bernanke's confirmation:
While no one is perfect, Ben Bernanke has been capable in his role as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. One must raise the question of where our country would be today if Chairman Bernanke was not leading the Federal Reserve, and who specifically could do a better job. I am pleased he will continue in his role as Chairman as our country begins to right itself from the depths of the greatest financial calamity since the Great Depression.
Bernanke was first appointed by President Bush in 2005; he was Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2009. President Obama nominated him for a second term in August.