Seven months into your administration, the Bush-appointed Federal Housing Finance Agency’s director resigned, offering you an opportunity to pick someone to oversee regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the critically important mortgage-finance companies nationalized by the Bush administration. You waited some 15 months to nominate someone, by which time it was too late to avoid Republican filibuster. As a result, Ed DeMarco, the acting director, still in power at FHFA, has stymied the housing recovery and your own policies by preventing principal reductions at Fannie and Freddie. Why did you wait so long to fill a spot at this critical agency?

Finally, if you had it all to do over again, which you kind of will if you win a second term, what would you do differently?

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at