Cloudy
48°
Cloudy
Hi 56° | Lo 29°

Obama nominates Lew to lead Treasury

  • FILE - This Jan. 9, 2012, file photo shows then-Budget Director Jack Lew listening as President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Lew, the current White House chief of staff  is President Barack Obama's expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    FILE - This Jan. 9, 2012, file photo shows then-Budget Director Jack Lew listening as President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Lew, the current White House chief of staff is President Barack Obama's expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

  • FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, center, shakes hands with current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, behind President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where the president announced he would nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, center, shakes hands with current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, behind President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where the president announced he would nominate Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • FILE - This Jan. 9, 2012, file photo shows then-Budget Director Jack Lew listening as President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Lew, the current White House chief of staff  is President Barack Obama's expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
  • FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • FILE - In this June 6, 2012, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable. In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners. Republicans were trying to protect upper-income people from those tax hikes, but eventually gave in because they didn't want to be blamed for the higher middle-class taxes that a stalemate would have triggered. Next come three deadlines that will almost certainly become entwined. The government will run out of cash in about two months and the Obama administration will need congressional approval to borrow more money or face a first-ever federal default, threatening global, economy-rattling consequences. Boehner and McConnell have said they won't agree to a debt-limit extension without an accord to cut spending. Just as adamantly, Obama says the government's debt ceiling must be raised and he won't negotiate over it, though he says he would bargain over spending cuts and tax increases to reduce federal deficits. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Jack Lew, the current White House chief of staff, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where President Barack Obama announced Lew as his nominee as the next Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens at left while President Barack Obama pauses during his announcement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that he will nominate current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to succeed Geithner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama listens as current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where he announced he will nominate Lew as the next Treasury Secretary.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, center, shakes hands with current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, behind President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, where the president announced he would nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, and current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, right, gestures as he arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, to announce he will nominate Lew to succeed Geithner.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama nominated White House chief of staff Jack Lew to be Treasury secretary yesterday, declaring his complete trust in an aide with three decades of experience in economic policy and an ability to shun the limelight.

“He is a low-key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras,” Obama said.

Obama announced his nomination in the White House East Room, flanked by Lew and outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The two men and their backgrounds illustrate the nation’s changing economic landscape. Geithner is a longtime banking specialist with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve who took office in 2009 at the height of the nation’s financial crisis. Lew has been a budget expert as the government struggled with its debt and deficit challenges.

Obama heaped praise on Geithner for addressing the Wall Street meltdown and shepherding an overhaul of financial regulations through Congress.

“When the history books are written, Tim Geithner is going to go down as one of our finest secretaries of the treasury,” he said.

Obama highlighted Lew’s past work on economic policy, from his days in the 1980s as an aide to then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill to his work on the budget with President Clinton.

Obama delighted in singling out Lew’s loopy signature, a distended Slinky-like scrawl that captured media attention Wednesday, joking that when he became aware of it he considered “rescinding my offer to appoint him.” If confirmed as treasury secretary, Lew’s signature will appear on U.S. currency.

A year ago, almost to the day, Obama selected Lew as his chief of staff, taking him from his job as director of the Office of Management and Budget into the White House’s tight inner circle.

In selecting Lew to replace Geithner, Obama not only picks an insider steeped in budget matters but also a tough bargainer. Some Republicans complain that Lew has been unyielding in past fiscal negotiations, particularly the failed talks for a large deficit reduction deal in the summer of 2011. Some have bristled at what they say is a greater desire by Lew to persuade them rather than negotiate.

Lew, 57, has often been described as a “pragmatic liberal” who understands what it takes to make a deal even as he stands by his ideology.

“He’s a political guy. He didn’t get where he is today by being a shrinking violet,” said Paul Light, a public policy professor at New York University and an acquaintance of Lew’s. “But he’s really a doer. He’s the kind of guy you want at the table if you want to get something done.”

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.