White House chief of staff Jack Lew is President Barack Obama's expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week.
White House officials would not confirm that a final decision has been made. But aides did not dispute that Lew is emerging as the consensus choice. Sources familiar with the process say Obama is choosing Lew because of his "wide variety of government and private sector experience."
Lew previously led the Office of Management and Budget and oversaw international economic issues at the State Department. He has played a key role in numerous financial negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill.
The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the expected nomination ahead of the president.
However, although it's still not official, opposition to President Obama's likely choice has already begun. First, from CNBC's Larry Kudlow:
bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-0….... Not personal, but Lew bad choice at Treasury. No financial experience,too far to left,no trust from GOP leaders.
— Larry Kudlow (@larry_kudlow) January 9, 2013
And then there's this from RedState co-founder Ben Domenech:
Jack Lew is one of the most partisan, most ideological members of the Obama team. Represents escalation of acrimony.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) January 9, 2013
Over at the Media Research Center, Stephen Gutowski reminds us that Lew said in 2011 that "there is no need to deal with social security" because it is "solidly funded through 2037":
Of course, as noted earlier on TheBlaze, Social Security is anything but sustainable.
"[T]he Social Security Administration underestimates how long Americans will live and how much the trust funds will need to pay out — to the tune of $800 billion by 2031, more than the current annual defense budget — and that the trust funds will run out, if nothing is done, two years earlier than the government has predicted [emphasis added]," the New York Times reports.
However, if Twitter serves as an accurate cultural zeitgeist, which is debatable, it appears people are more concerned with Lew’s squiggly signature than they are with his political worldview:
Maybe he's into modern art.RT @ryanlizza Good time to remind people that this is Jack Lew's signature: twitter.yfrog.com/nuuryjrj
— DAVID FABER (@DavidFaberCNBC) January 9, 2013
Can't wait to see what Jack Lew's scrawled signature will look like when rendered in trillion-dollar platinum. nymag.com/daily/intellig…
— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 9, 2013
Re: Jack Lew's slinky signature, remember that Geithner upgraded his chicken scratch> marketplace.org/topics/economy…
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 9, 2013
As a bunch of people just pointed out to me, that signature will appear on our currency. Take that, people who think America is in decline!
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 9, 2013
In case you’re wondering what they're talking about, this is Jack Lew’s actual signature:
Yes, that's really his signature.
Lew's signature on our bills would give the appearance gov't is run by children--wouldn't be all that wrong, I suppose nymag.com/daily/intellig…
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 9, 2013
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The AP contributed to this story. This post has been updated.