Who will succeed Peter Orszag?
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
Posted by: yourmomscalling | June 22, 2010 4:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: cautious | June 22, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FloridaChick | June 22, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: weiwentg | June 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kimmie2 | June 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: SISSD1 | June 22, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | June 22, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ahoffinger | June 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sp3177 | June 22, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: seraphina21 | June 22, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: knight1977 | June 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: clandestinetomcat | June 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chaffcutter | June 22, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: seraphina21 | June 22, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: joecarrsr | June 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rsthomas | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rsthomas | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 7andrade | June 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: deepthroat21 | June 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: charlietuna666 | June 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NoWeCant | June 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jward52 | June 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DoTheRightThing | June 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: klausdmk | June 22, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: LarryMason1 | June 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PittAlum | June 22, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pswift00 | June 22, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rufkd | June 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | June 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: BudgetWonk | June 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gwalter1 | June 22, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: steliosvarias | June 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bogemin | June 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.