The Herman Cain Lesson for Trump

The President’s Fed bashing isn’t helping his nominees.

The bigger problem is Mr. Trump’s public assault on the Fed. Mr. Trump has made Mr. Cain’s nomination look like an attempt to undermine Fed independence rather than an attempt to put some fresh monetary thinking on the board. The same is true for our former colleague Stephen Moore, who is also on the receiving end of the left’s politics of personal destruction.

Mr. Trump’s public Fed bashing is a shame because Mr. Cain had a point when writing in our pages last week that the “professor standard,” or letting academics run the Fed, has produced many policy mistakes. The Fed kept interest rates too low for too long in the 2000s, then misjudged the housing market and bank safety, then overestimated the benefits of its bond buying and zero interest rates.

An excellent replacement for Mr. Cain would be economist Judy Shelton, who would bring intellectual diversity and heft without political baggage. Ms. Shelton on Monday pushed back in an op-ed for the Journal against the left’s recent claims that “anyone sympathetic to a gold standard” is unqualified. She’s right that “stable money is a prerequisite for genuine economic growth and shared prosperity.”

Yet as long as Mr. Trump continues his Twitter campaign against Chairman Jerome Powell and the Fed, he’ll be hamstringing his own nominees and the broader case for more intellectual diversity at the Eccles building.