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Lawrence Summers, seen as President Barack Obama’s first choice to replace Ben Bernake as chairman of the Federal Reserve, has taken his name out of the running, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Summers, who served as treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and as chairman of Obama’s National Economic Council, called Obama Sunday to inform him of his decision.

“I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery,” Summers wrote in a letter that followed Sunday’s phone call, the Journal reported.

Summers’ nomination has been opposed by liberals and women’s groups over statements he has made while serving as president of Harvard University. He also has been opposed by Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee who see him as a symbol of the failures of financial regulation.