According to news reports, Timothy Geithner, chair of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, will be the new Treasury Secretary--not Larry Summers. Perhaps Hillary Clinton and Summers in the top two slots was one ex-Clinton official too many: as if George W. Bush had picked Colin Powell and Nicholas Brady, rather than Powell and Paul O'Neill. (Come to think of it, that would have been an improvement.) If so, I fear Obama chose the wrong one.
I look forward to reading, someday, the backstory behind what now looks like the inevitable Hillary Clinton appointment. It astonishes me that Obama stood up to pressure to name Clinton as his running mate, at a time when the election might have turned on his choice--and then turned around and offered her his top cabinet slot. All the reasons why the VP slot didn't go to her would seem to apply to the Secretary of State position as well--plus one more: A Vice President pretty much can't resign even if he or she is out of sorts with the Administration, but a Secretary of State can. Cyrus Vance did, and Colin Powell probably thought about it. Think that gives Clinton some leverage over her ostensible boss? I bet so, and I bet she thinks so too. This turn of events seems strange, and not reassuring. I'd be a lot happier if it were Richard Holbrooke and Summers rather than Clinton and Geithner. I hope the financial markets and our allies abroad disagree. . .