Barack Obama is expected to name the officials soon who will be responsible for the economy of the nation. The next series of highly important appointments is to be made this week after Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
Obama originally had an extensive list of candidates for the position of Treasury Secretary. The list included former Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers and Timothy Geithner, New York Federal Reserve president. It transpired Friday that Obama made his choice in Geithner’s favor – the Dow Jones index skyrocketed for a couple of hours.
Being the head of the most important of the 12 banks of the Federal Reserve System, Geithner has been in the epicenter of the current financial crisis. Wall Street sees Geithner as a guarantee of succession and predictability of the anti-crisis strategy.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said that he would be welcomed at the Senate in the event his candidacy is approved. Geithner, 47, personifies the change of generations among those who create the economic policies of Washington.
Geithner was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (1998–2001) under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Summers was his mentor.
In 2002 he left the Treasury to join the Council on Foreign Relations as a Senior Fellow in the International Economics department. At the International Monetary Fund he was director of the Policy Development and Review Department (2001-2003).
In October 2003, he was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Once there, he became Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee component of the Fed. In 2006, he also became a member of the Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty.
In March 2008, he arranged the rescue and sale of Bear Stearns. As a Treasury official, he helped manage multiple international crisis of the 1990s in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand.
On November 21, 2008, it was reported that President-elect Barack Obama will nominate Geithner to be Treasury Secretary. Geithner believes, along with Hank Paulson, that the Treasury Department needs new authority to experiment with responses to the financial crisis of 2008.
As for Summers, Barack Obama intends to appoint him as the director of the National Economic Council.
The new US president will have a strong team as far as the economic administration is concerned, if the above-mentioned appointments become real.
Other appointments will be announced after Thanksgiving Day, although, as US newspapers wrote, Barack Obama has already made his choice regarding the key governmental posts. Afro-American Eric Holder, 57, may get the job of Attorney General, whereas Hillary Clinton is rumored to become the 67th Secretary of State. Many observers say that it would be a brilliant decision for Obama to make. Others say, though, that it would be a mistake. Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State would obviously be a star, although some analysts say that this would not be the best way to use Clinton’s political talents. Columnist David Broder wrote that Obama needs a politician who would follow the president’s course in foreign politics, but not someone who would teach him how to approach world affairs or who is going to be his mentor in international relations.
Obama does not conceal the fact that he follows the example of civil war president Abraham Lincoln, whose government was known as the ‘Team of Rivals.’ Obama knows what he wants and prefers to guide the stars of his administration himself – he obviously does not want to be dazzled by them instead.
Will Hillary Clinton make a mistake if she accepts Obama’s offer? “Her decision will be understandable only if she decided to take this as a consolation prize and if she declined her presidential ambition entirely. If she thinks about the next elections, then it would be better for her to stay in the Senate – this role would give her more freedom,” Washington-based expert Antoniya Bodnar said in an interview with the Vremya Novostei newspaper.
The expert said that Obama had come for one term in the office only. “He is not a magician, and severe consequences of the crisis will entail public concerns against him. This has happened in the American history many times before. However, as a member of Obama’s team, Hillary Clinton will not be able to gain anything from his mistakes,” the expert added.