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Who will succeed Peter Orszag?

By Ed O'Keefe


Peter R. Orszag is slated to leave the Obama administration this summer. (Photo by Bloomberg)

Updated 4:50 p.m. ET
The Obama administration will endure its first major turnover later this summer as budget director Peter R. Orszag prepares to depart.

“Peter has served alongside and within a valuable economic team that has faced the greatest economic crisis any president has faced since the great depression. It is an enormous task,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday in confirming Orszag's impending departure.

Orszag's departure has been rumored since earlier this year, so there is no shortage of contenders to succeed him in that ornate office suite on the south side of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (the same suite, by the way, that was occupied until 1947 by the secretary of state).

Here's an UPDATED look at potential candidates, ranked from conventional/safe picks to more daring choices:

Laura D. Tyson: What a CV! She chaired Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, currently teaches at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, served as dean at the London Business School and has worked with the Brookings Institution, the New America Foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Institute and Center for American Progress. She earned some corporate cash on the boards of AT&T, Eastman Kodak Company and Morgan Stanley and specializes in global management and U.S. trade policy. Having another woman in a high-profile role wouldn't hurt the Obama administration either.

John Berry: The head of the Office of Personnel Management is a leading contender, according to The Post's Al Kamen. He's considered a rising star and the budget portfolio would hand a larger mandate to the already-highest ranking gay official in the Obama administration. He once worked for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and is adored on Capitol Hill, which confirmed him for Interior and Treasury department roles during the Clinton administration. And -- maybe best of all -- he once ran the National Zoo. (Insert your own jokes here.) "This is the President's decision alone and it is inappropriate for me or anyone to speculate as to what his decision will be," Berry said in response to a question from The Eye.

Rob Nabors: The son of an Army major general served as Orszag's deputy before joining Rahm Emanuel's office to focus on special projects. He previously served as staff director for House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), and if that doesn't prepare you for the wild world of federal budget-making, what will? Colleagues say he's enjoying his new role, and one wonders whether a bigger role awaits him in a post-Rahm West Wing.

Gene Sperling: Currently a senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, he was a top economic official during Bill Clinton's presidency and lead economic adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. Certainly has the political chops and knows how to run the budget show, but does he want a more senior economic role if, say, Geithner or Lawrence Summers were to leave soon?

Robert Greenstein: He's the director of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (those holiday parties must be fun!) and ran the school lunch and food stamp programs during the Carter administration. Also served on the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform during the Clinton administration and led the Obama-Biden federal budget policy transition team. He's considered a safe D.C. establishment/outsider choice.

Byron Dorgan: Would North Dakota's retiring Democratic senator want to stay in Washington and adapt his political savvy to the Obama administration's budget? He'd have instant Capitol Hill cred (thus an easy Senate confirmation) and add political heft to an office that could always use more.

Jeffrey Liebman: He's an economist with special expertise on poverty, pensions and Social Security. He led the Obama-Biden OMB transition team, advised then-candidate Obama on Social Security and previously coordinated Social Security policy proposals for the Clinton administration. Despite his deep knowledge of economics and OMB, administration officials say he lacks the political chops to run the budget shop.

Jeffrey Zients: Perhaps the most unconventional of these picks -- and thus the easiest to write about! Obama's second choice as chief performance officer (Anyone remember Nancy Killefer?) has spent the last 18 months using his private-sector management experience to find ways to slash waste and redundancies across the government. He orchestrated high-profile cost savings announcements in recent months, including planned federal hiring reforms and plans to cut $8 billion in federal building costs. He once sat on the board of XM Radio and led the investor team that wooed the Montreal Expos to Washington. But he also lacks the political savvy and is much more "M" than "B" -- not good when you need to write a budget. If Obama wants a guy with demonstrable, practical government cost-cutting experience, Zients is the choice.

Do you like or dislike these candidates? Do you know of any others? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 21, 2010; 11:53 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Comments

here this one is easy ANOTHER BULLS&*TER WILL THATS WHO !!!!

Posted by: yourmomscalling | June 22, 2010 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Bozo the Clown?

Posted by: cautious | June 22, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

if the quality of that toupee is an indicator, this position needs a higher pay level. off with that rug!

Posted by: FloridaChick | June 22, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I interned at CBPP. Greenstein built the organization up from scratch to be one of the best think tank/political consulting-like firms out there. That speaks of management experience. He also has political savvy and he obviously knows the budget. I'm not sure he'd say yes to OMB, and frankly there may be others whose qualifications are better. I would sleep well at night knowing that he was running the shop.

Posted by: weiwentg | June 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see someone on the more daring choices list. It is time to shake things up a bit in Washington. Personally, I am sick of the leftovers. Obama needs to build his "own" team.

Posted by: kimmie2 | June 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

i say BLAGO will take over this job.

Posted by: SISSD1 | June 22, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I vote for anyone who actually knows/understands the budget process; can make decisions and stick to them without a lot of hair pulling and teeth gnashing; has credibility with the Hill; and who isn't wedded to some budget or management process du jour like zero based budgeting or lean six sigma.

Greenstein would be okay - but wouldn't he have to give up CBPP? He has a lot of influence from there, so why would he walk away from that?

I vote Tyson because she's brilliant and I don't think we've had a woman budget director.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | June 22, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

No matter.

Posted by: ahoffinger | June 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@ Groovis -- Alice Rivlin was head of OMB in the Clinton Administration.

Posted by: sp3177 | June 22, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

a magic eight ball

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 22, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

A monkey could do this job. All it takes is calling up Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, have them pass whatever bloated budget they want with an extra billion for ACORN.

Send it over to ODonkey's house where he signs it and voila!

Posted by: knight1977 | June 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, it will be someone that understands if you have $100 in your checking account, you can't spend $200 because there is a strong possibility you will end up in debt.

Is that too much to ask?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | June 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

anyone of his old tutors would do, there is a gallery full
Ian Boskey, Michael Milekan, Bernanke, Maddoff etc etc...

they all belong to the same Money and Media Mafia Gang, with full sopport of AIPAC and Israel

Posted by: chaffcutter | June 22, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

knight1977, they don't need no stinkin' budget. If they don't pass one, they can't overspend, it's logically impossible.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 22, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Why would you need a budget director when the current administration never put forth a budget when it was due this year. Why a director if you don't have a budget? The Budget Director who is leaving is one of the smartest people in D.C. for deciding to leave. In November many more will be leaving.

Posted by: joecarrsr | June 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Who can we get to replace Orszag?" Hmmm.. Who can Rahm find that is generally regarded as a fiscal pragmatist, but actually thinks like Karl Marx and ObaMAO?

Posted by: rsthomas | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Who can we get to replace Orszag?" Hmmm.. Who can Rahm find that is generally regarded as a fiscal pragmatist, but actually thinks like Karl Marx and ObaMAO?

Posted by: rsthomas | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

GGGG!!! I wonder why he got canned? Funny how Comcast and NBC Universal were pushing for my son to read Robin Hood (movie I already in the 90's anyway) I was there man come one I was on the bus on the way to PA on the Wachovia bus wearing the same yellow shirt that used to go to the event in Washington DC, and I spent the night in the house of people who were jewish/russian and had ties to ricky libberman yahoo and comcast then, you had a new president of NBC I got the e-mail come one, remember Ethal what you told me on the bus? I am not holding anything against any one I told you then I did not want a deal book and what did you say to me? Rooselvet was smart because he hire and trained women and not monkeys remember that? how I was in the front of the bus on the way to PA and how I returned on the back of the bus? Jeff Cohen do you remember all of those anti-mexican jokes your friends sent you, and how much you hated Italians? remember that? I read all of your mail and your e-mails and your family all were comcast and you sent them from your mom's house. This is not about me and my son any more, and let me just remind you that I did not sell the russians any information about the manhattan project, any info. I had went to Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Gerladine Ferraro so you can take it to them and leave me and my family alone because no matter what I am not going to help Charles Schumar to be the "NEXT MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE" I THINK MITCH MACCONALL IS GOING TO GET IT!!! BUT THAT IS JUST MY OPINION WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT THIS THINGS RIGHT I am an anti sementic right? tell that to Howard Stern!!!

Posted by: 7andrade | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I hereby nominate HAL 9000, Esquire..... "He" forget...s... a .....l...o..t.
I believe "he" used to work for 'Uncle" Ronnie Raygun.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | June 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

THIS MAY BE THE ANSWER. OBAMA SAID NO ONE WOULD HAVE THEIR TAXES INCREASED IF THEY MADE LESS THAN $200K per year. Looks like another lie from obozo the clown in chief liar.

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that tax increases will eventually be necessary to address the nation's mounting debt, raising a difficult election-year issue as Democrats fight retain control of Congress.

In the short term, government spending has been necessary to stimulate the economy, Hoyer said. But in the longer term, Congress will have to rein in spending and raise taxes to tackle the debt, he added.

"Raising revenue is part of the deficit solution, too," Hoyer said.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, "It's now official. Top Democrats on Capitol Hill are starting to signal their intention to raise taxes on the middle class."

THANK YOU DEMOCRATS FOR ELECTING THE WORST, MOST LYING PRESIDENT OF THE USA EVER. GAWD, YOU DEMOCRATS ARE DUMMYS.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | June 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Who will succeed Peter Orszag?"

Anyone who can follow his lead of turning trillion into the new billion.

Posted by: NoWeCant | June 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

And Whom will succeed the Secretary of LABOR? - The Sec of LABOR just announced that ILLEGAL ALIEN WORKERS Deserve a Fair lIVABLE $Wage!! - Well, a Livable Wage for head-of-household is at least $18-per-Hour! - And how about U.S. Citizens in jail/prison,- do they deserve a Fair-Wage also? - At least they are U.S. Citizens. - The Secretary of LABOR Must also "GO"!!!

Posted by: jward52 | June 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Adam Clayton Powell. Uh, wait a minute - he's dead. Make that Barney Frank - he's good at not telling the truth and wasting the government's money.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | June 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Who will succeed Peter Orszag? Will it be someone who made a deal with the Obama White House for a job? The names and bios suggested as replacements certainly do not have the outstanding qualifications and performance record of Orszag.

Some highly skilled and professional people resign from their job because they were required to support projects designed for political purposes instead of benefit the people such as the Obama economic stimulus package.

Posted by: klausdmk | June 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Dorgan would make a ton of sense.

Posted by: LarryMason1 | June 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama will find someone to appoint to Orszag's position who can shroud the truth as well, if not better than Peter did. No one in that slot can level with the electorate and remain under protection of the Oval Office.

Posted by: PittAlum | June 22, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I vote for someone who knows what the word 'budget' means.

Posted by: pswift00 | June 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

gotta go with Rob Nabors, haven't heard a peep out of him since he was appointed. Hope he doesn't end up like his lookalike Claude Allen returning stuff for cash he picked up (literally) at Wal-Mart. Real choice would be Alan Greenspan who said to a former Mexican Fed chief with a TV show recently that we should "raise taxes and cut expenses." Who knew he could talk that clearly? Not even Mrs Greenspan, I'll bet.

Posted by: rufkd | June 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Too bad he is dead. Otherwise, Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo) of Fantasy Island would be an ideal candidate.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | June 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The obvious choice is Douglas Elmendorf, the current unflappable director of the Congressional Budget Office. He has a PhD from Harvard, and both the senior political and economic experience (CBO, Treasury, the Fed, Brookings) needed to work effectively with Congress, the Cabinet, and the press.

Posted by: BudgetWonk | June 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

They're all a bunch of big spending libs ----just put Larry Kudlow or Steve Forbes in there and you'll see some serious action for the BETTER.

Posted by: gwalter1 | June 22, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman would be the ideal choice because more stimulus is needed and he could carry that water.

Posted by: steliosvarias | June 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

A great choice is Harvard budget professor Linda Bilmes, who is in line to become Comptroller General. But the country would do better to make her head of OMB/

Posted by: bogemin | June 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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