President Obama will announce Thursday that he is choosing White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, according to Reuters.
Yes, the same Jack Lew who as Obama’s Office of Management and Budget director and White House chief of staff has overseen Obama’s annual trillion dollar-plus deficits, lousy economy, and persistently high unemployment. Quite a success story.
What’s more, Lew has little experience with the financial markets, spending only a brief and un-illustrious time on Wall Street managing a Citigroup unit that bet on the housing market to collapse and lost money anyway in his final year there, 2008.
He was well compensated, of course.
The Lew nomination showcases the irredeemable insularity and hubris of the Obama White House, where everything that’s wrong is attributable to George W. Bush or – since the Blame Bush shelf life is expiring – the fault of Republicans Congress that won’t do everything Obama says.
Obama and his budget chief Lew have overseen the highest federal outlay of cash as a share of the economy since World War II and didn’t get serious about cutting spending until Republicans started to make threats the White House deems irresponsible.
This nomination is not about cutting the budget or really even improving the economy, it’s about defending and expanding Obama’s legacy.
As Charles Krauthammer noted last night, Lew is valuable to Obama because he is intricately familiar with the budget – knowledge he can use to parry Republican attempts to cut spending and alter Obama programs.
Short on achievements but long on loyalty and commitment to Obamaism. Meet your new Treasury Secretary nominee who – the Senate can pick only so many fights – will almost certainly be confirmed without much argument.