Politico, the newspaper for inside-the-Beltway junkies, reports that Summers is now considered the leading candidate to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chair—not Janet Yellen, as has been widely reported. Politico’s story is worth quoting at length.

.many top Democrats close to the Obama White House suggest the leading candidate to replace Bernanke is not necessarily current Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen — as many in the markets expect — but Larry Summers, the outspoken Harvard professor and former Clinton-era Treasury Secretary and senior Obama economic adviser.

…Obama knows Summers well, these people say, a very important factor in the current White House. Summers served as chairman of the White House National Economic Council during the administration’s first two years. And while they may not be best friends, Obama and Summers would also not be working together on a day-to-day basis, mitigating any possible personality conflicts.

Summers is said by those who know him to be in no way campaigning for the job, despite a recent flurry of stories about his potential nomination. His office said he was golfing with no access to a cellphone when POLITICO tried to reach him on Tuesday. People close to Summers say he has settled into his current teaching role at Harvard and is not especially eager to move back to Washington full time.

This last paragraph is so literally incredible—Summers has “settled into his current teaching” (which is what, exactly?)—that it suggests the opposite: Summers is campaigning for the job and is just trying hard (on the golf course with no cell phone? please) to appear as if he isn’t…

But others say that if Obama asks, Summers would certainly agree to serve

This last bit of diction is a dead giveaway: The word “serve,” in Washington, is used when someone desperately wants a job for reasons of personal ambition but doesn’t want to look either desperate or ambitious, in which case they frame taking the job as a question of public “service” that would, of course, mean great sacrifice on their part but somehow they would manage to do it if the nation called…