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Front-runners for Orszag's OMB job?


By Al Kamen
There are so many people mentioned as top candidates to run OMB when director Peter Orszag leaves next month that you'd think it was a super-fun job. (Orszag's said to be going to the Wall Street/hedge fund world to make big bucks for the growing family.) The administration has had plenty of time -- a summer departure had been rumored for months -- to work up a long list of names.

Former Clinton administration chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Laura Tyson, we're told, may be the front-runner, but she's more a big-picture economist than a detailed budgeteer.

A good bet for the job is Office of Personnel Management chief John Berry, seen as a star over there and one of the stars in the Obama world over all. He was a top official at Interior and Treasury during Clinton, has wanted OMB for a long time, and has already been confirmed by the Senate. What's more, he's got key experience for the job, having run the National Zoo.

Former Clinton top economic adviser Gene Sperling, now at Treasury, got high marks for his work on Obama's small business health reform initiative and has already been vetted for the deputy OMB director post, so he could step up one notch.

Rob Nabors, who recently had been OMB deputy director before moving into a White House job, is very highly regarded and trusted in the West Wing. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew, who headed OMB under Clinton when there was a surplus and has been chief operating officer of New York University, is said to be a serious possibility. When we demurred -- given it would be the same old job he once had -- the response was this would put him in the cabinet.

Guess that counts for something.

By Al Kamen  |  June 22, 2010; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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