Pethokoukis

GOP isn’t booing, they’re saying ‘Lew!’ No, actually they’re booing

Image Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

Image Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

Unsurprisingly, President Obama is going to nominate Jack Lew, currently White House chief of staff, to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Hardly a popular pick among Republicans since they view Lew as preachy and abrasive — though certainly a budget expert. Geithner without the charm. John Boehner better keep Paul Ryan handy during the upcoming budget battles. As the National Journal describes him:

At the center of this push will be Lew, a 30-year veteran of budget battles under Presidents Reagan and Clinton. Tall and thin, with Harry Potter-like glasses and salt-and-pepper hair, he looks like a typical Washington technocrat, an image that belies his talent for combat. “He’s like a labor-union negotiator. He’s not going to give you an inch if he doesn’t have to,” says Judd Gregg, the Republican former senator and Budget Committee chairman. “He’s a true believer in the causes.”

More broadly, some on the right were hoping for a CEO or maybe Erskine Bowles — someone, anyone to inject a bit of fiscal reality into an administration that doesn’t seem to take the debt issue very seriously. Or at least the spending issue. Lew is there to push the Obama agenda, which means getting as much as possible of the $2 trillion in tax hikes the president has outlined. He doesn’t seem open to the idea that investment taxes hinder growth.

And both Democrats and Republicans wonder about Lew’s lack of financial market experience. What if the eurocrisis reignites, or investors finally get queasy about those massive US budget deficits? That may require a creative financial thinker rather than a career technocrat. Recall that Geithner previously was head of the NY Fed.

Little doubt the liberal Lew will be confirmed. But when he is, it should put permanently to rest the idea that Obama will ever “pivot to the center.”

23 thoughts on “GOP isn’t booing, they’re saying ‘Lew!’ No, actually they’re booing

  1. Maybe the GOp will like Greenspan in the position.

    Seriously, Jim, they just hate ANY idea the President puts forward, and its a sign of their impotence and immaturity. Even Chuck Hagel is getting razzed after getting 90% approval ratings from Conservative groups for his entire career. So now, of course, they’re swift boating him.

    Another reason for me to not take you seriously.

    • You definitely have a point there, the Republicans backlash against Hagel discredits the party in my opinion. I personally like Hagel as a conservative, however it is now clear the Republican Party has maintained a non-conservative foreign policy.

      • You are quite right. The American Conservative had a good piece today on how the GOP needs to stop looking at the world merely as a canvas to spread their own ideals. It tends to get us into trouble, and encumbers us for billions of dollars.

        AmCon is worth following. If GENUINE Conservatism is to return to this country, as opposed to the cartoon version it has mestacized into, people like them will lead it.

  2. The choice of Lew signals that Obama is going to tell the GOP to stuff it when it comes to spending cuts. Woodward’s “The Price of Politics” describes Lew’s abrasive resistance to making either budget cuts or a deal. Obama does not think the US has a spending problem.

    The GOP must put the Democrats on a monthly or quarterly diet – incremental increases in the national debt limit, incorporating big spending cuts. Take it or leave it.

  3. The GOP was offered a 10 to 1 spending cut to revenue deal, and walked“…

    Hey maxie boy I got a bridge over the Mississippi from Missouri to Illinois, I can let you have for cheap, are you interested?

    Hagel for defense secretary, oh yeah!

    What a choice

    • Dang it Juandos. You buying bridges again? I keep telling you. Before you hand over the money, ask the guy ‘Did you build that?’

      • You buying bridges again?“…

        I knew it, todd can’t read simple English…

        Can you point out where I said I ‘bought‘ a bridge?

        Come on todd, maybe you can get an adult in the dayroom to help you out…

  4. Golly, when I read you’ve “got a bridge” I naturally assume that you mean you’ve got a bridge. Then again, maybe English isn’t your first language.

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