Leaving Treasury? Geithner's Honest Moment

Tim Geithner's lack of slickness usually plays as a negative - he usually comes across as uncomfortable. But there was a moment of charm yesterday when Christiane Amanpour asked if he would be leaving the administration like Hillary Clinton and Bob Gates. First, he did the standard dodge.

GEITHNER: I got a lot on my plate still, and we've got a lot of challenges ahead. And I want to tell you, this is hard, but I believe in this work and I enjoy these challenges.

It is Amanpour's followup - "So you'll stay" that creates a wonderfully honest moment. (At 11:50 mark - almost at end)

Geithner responds like a school boy who's just been caught by the teacher for a practical joke. He laughs. Busted. Of course he's not staying, his laughter seems to confess - that's why I just gave you the nonsense answer!

Oddly, the exchange led to a widely run wire story indicating that Geithner might be up for continuing if the president is reelected!

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hinted Sunday that he would be willing to stay on in his post should President Barack Obama win a second term in 2012.

After suffering harsh criticism for his handling of the economic crisis and calls for his resignation early in the administration's life, Geithner said he still enjoyed the job.

"I've got a lot on my plate still and we've got a lot of challenges ahead and I want to tell you, this is hard, but I believe in this work and I enjoy these challenges," he told ABC television.

It's possible that the laughter might have been triggered by some other secret between Amanpour and the Treasury Secretary - Geithner does seem to crack a smile as soon as she begins the question - but his inability to maintain decorum seems noteworthy.