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Altman in the running to succeed Summers

By Lori Montgomery

altman.JPG

(Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Investment banker Roger Altman, a former deputy treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, is among several candidates to replace Lawrence Summers as President Obama's top economic adviser, White House officials said Wednesday.

Altman met with Obama Tuesday to discuss the job as director of the National Economic Council. The White House is eager to recruit someone from the business community for the job to help repair the president's frayed relationship with corporate America.

Summers, the former Treasury secretary and Harvard president, is leaving the post at the end of this year to return to academia.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied reports that Altman is the frontrunner for the job, calling him one of "a number of good candidates" in a selection process that is still in the "early" stages.

"It would be way too premature to say that anybody at this point is a leading candidate," Gibbs told reporters.

Altman, 64, is the founder of Evercore Partners, which advises major corporations on investment banking decisions. He formed the company after serving two years in the early Clinton administration.

Recently, Altman has defended Obama to the business community, though he has also encouraged the White House to change the "poisonous dynamic" developed during the president's legislative push for health care and financial regulatory reforms.

"Both sides should make adjustments, but the business community -- of which I am a proud member -- especially needs to make efforts to mend this relationship," Altman wrote in July in the New York Times.

By Lori Montgomery  | November 17, 2010; 8:45 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Next: Economic agenda: Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

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