Portraits for a story about Lawrence H. Summers in the New York Times.

Larry Summers has split his pandemic time between houses in Massachusetts and Arizona. He also seems to live inside the collective mind of the Washington economic establishment.

When the 66-year-old veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations talks, Washington’s policy apparatus — journalists and think-tank types, economists and communications people, administration researchers and Capitol Hill staff — stops to listen. It disputes, debates and ultimately disseminates his ideas. Sometimes, it does so almost in spite of itself. Deploring the way he dominates the narrative is its own catalyst to his dominance, though his critics often miss the paradox.

Jeanna Smialek