WASHINGTON - Janet Yellen is now the clear front-runner to be nominated as chair of the powerful Federal Reserve. Her status as President Barack Obama's second choice, while awkward, could ultimately serve as an asset during confirmation and in the central bank's top job.
Her supporters and some Fed watchers argue that she'll have more independence from the president in the autonomous Fed. Yellen has emerged as the leading contender after the White House faced a bruising and potentially losing confirmation fight for Obama's first choice, Larry Summers.
Obama appointed Yellen three years ago to be the Fed's vice chair. She's not as well known in the White House as Summers, and that could help her standing in running an agency like the Fed that carefully guards its autonomy.