In a PBS interview that aired late Monday, Obama did not directly answer a question about whether he would renominate
Instead, Obama praised Bernanke and compared him to
"I think Ben Bernanke's done an outstanding job," Obama told PBS' Charlie Rose in the interview taped Sunday.
"Ben Bernanke's a little bit like Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI, where he's already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to," Obama said.
With the Fed playing an out-sized role in the U.S. economy, investors and analysts are keenly interested in who will be heading the central bank next year and beyond.
Fed policymakers are grappling with when and how to start pulling back on their unprecedented stimulus efforts.
Bernanke guided the central bank through the Great Recession and financial crisis and could be ready to step aside after more than seven grueling years in the job. But he also could decide he would like to continue leading the Fed through the complicated process of unwinding its controversial stimulus programs.
The Fed's Open Market Committee started a two-day meeting Tuesday, and Bernanke is set to hold his quarterly news conference Wednesday amid speculation that the central bank soon could start reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases designed to boost the recovery.
Bernanke, who has been Fed chairman since Feb. 1, 2006, is a Republican who was originally tapped for the job by President
Bernanke hasn't indicated if he would seek another term. His second four-year term ends on Jan. 31.
Asked at a congressional hearing last month whether he would accept another term if Obama offered it, Bernanke said, "I'm not prepared to answer that question now."
Bernanke probably will be pushed for an answer on his future at Wednesday's news conference.
In the PBS interview, Obama lauded Bernanke's leadership of the Fed and noted that its policies have helped the U.S. rebound more strongly from the financial crisis than the Eurozone, which is stuck in another recession.[if gte mso 9]>
"He has been an outstanding partner along with the
Most analysts believe that the leading choice to succeed Bernanke would be Fed Vice Chair
Obama likely must make a decision this summer to give the
The Senate confirmed Bernanke in January 2010 by a 70-30 vote amid concerns by many