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If Geithner Steps Aside, Daley Could Be Next in Line September 9, 2011

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , add a comment

Tim Geithner says he staying on as Treasury Secretary through the rest of President Obama’s first term, but FOX Business has learned that the White House continues to maintain a list of possible replacements that includes the usual coterie of outside successors such as Blackrock chief executive Larry Fink, and Roger Altman, chairman of investment banking boutique Evercore Partners.

Both men are said to be interested in the job, according to people who know them, but if Geithner were to leave today, his most likely successor would be someone already in the administration: White House chief of staff William Daley.

In recent months, Daley has made no secret of his agitation with his current role with former Wall Street associates (the president continues to rely on senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on the most important issues, Daley has told people) and his desire to become Treasury Secretary if Geithner should step down or if the president wins a second term and Geithner, as expected, leaves.

Geithner has already signaled that he’s likely to stay until the end of the first term, after weighing a possible early exit as Treasury Secretary, both first reported by the FOX Business Network.

Daley, meanwhile, is quietly lobbying for the job — and according to people close to the White House, he’s making the strongest case to win it if and when that time comes.

“He’s wanted that job for years,” said one person who is close to Daley and has knowledge of his activities, “and it if it opens up, he appears to be the front runner.”

A White House spokesman declined repeated requests for comment.

Of course, lots can happen between now and the 2012 elections, including Obama failing to win a second term. Daley, like other White House economic advisers who have recently left the administration, could fall out of favor with the president.

But Daley would bring an impressive resume to the job: He’s a long-time Democratic Party operative, hailing from Chicago where his brother and father served as mayor. He served as commerce secretary during the Clinton Administration, and later worked for JPMorgan.

Unlike some of the outside candidates who have worked in the banking industry most of their careers, Daley’s background is more associated with Democratic Party politics, particularly in the President’s hometown of Chicago.

In recent weeks, he’s been reaching out to the business community trying to soften the Obama Administration’s anti-business reputation. He has also been a front man for the president in pushing for his new jobs plan, set to be unveiled in a speech tonight.

But inside the Obama Administration Daley’s influence has been minimized, people who know him tell FOX Business, by Jarrett, who has the president’s ear on most major issues.

“He is being overshadowed by people like Valerie Jarrett and that has him wanting to do something else,” said another Wall Street executive with close ties to the administration.

And that something else is Treasury Secretary, these people say, though Daley might have to wait for the next Democratic Administration if the president’s dismal poll ratings translate into defeat in 2012.

Pelosi Peeved Republicans Opt Out of Rebuttal to Obama Speech September 9, 2011

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , add a comment

Republicans have decided they’re not going to give a rebuttal to President Obama’s jobs speech later this week, a decision House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took as a high affront to the White House. 

At least three GOP lawmakers also have announced they’re not going to show up for the presidential address. House Speaker John Boehner’s office then confirmed Tuesday evening that nobody from the party would deliver an official televised response. 

Pelosi said the party’s “silence” would “speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs.” 

“The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people,” Pelosi said. 

But Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said Obama’s proposals on Thursday “will rise or fall on their own merits,” suggesting a GOP response was not needed. 

“Republicans are, and have been, entirely focused on job creation. Every member of Congress, and — more importantly — the American people, will provide a reaction to the president’s address,” Steel said. 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that Republicans will have “ample opportunity to express their opinions about the package” and hopefully will provide positive reactions since he insisted without getting into specifics that the proposals have garnered bipartisan support in the past. 

“We are focused on the main event, not on the sideshows, there’s an inordinate amount of attention here in Washington paid to the stuff that doesn’t matter, the stuff that Americans don’t care about, the stuff that when forced to listen to it drives them crazy,” Carney told reporters.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said there will be “plenty” of response to the president’s speech on Friday, but told Fox News he suspects the reason there’s no formal response is “the speaker doesn’t expect to hear much to respond to.” 

Some members of Congress, though, won’t be there when Obama delivers his address to a Joint Session of Congress. 

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has said he doesn’t think he’ll attend — he told Fox News he’s “sick and tired of speeches.” Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., also said he’d skip, writing on his Twitter page that he has no interest in being a “prop” for Obama’s speech. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., will not attend either, opting instead to hold a Twitter town hall while the president speaks. 

Dana Perino, former press secretary for George W. Bush, said the lawmakers should attend the session because “you’re an elected leader, and it’s quite a privilege to be able to be there.” 

As for a GOP rebuttal, Perino said there is a downside to it in that it always makes the opposition look small in comparison to the president. 

“This is not a State of the Union address, but still tradition would say there should be a rebuttal. I don’t think it’s necessary, the game is starting,” Perino said, referring to the first game of the NFL season, which immediately follows the president’s speech. 

Perino said congressional leaders have opened Statuary Hall in the Capitol to allow any member of Congress to talk to the media.