Tuesday, May 30, 2006
It is long past news that John Snow has resigned, and that President Bush has tapped Goldman, Sachs CEO Hank Paulson to be Secretary of the Treasury. See Cardinalpark's personal take below.
After reading Cardinalpark, it isn't surprising that George W. Bush wanted Hank Paulson to take the job -- he is an excellent choice even if he did go to Dartmouth -- but it is surprising that Paulson took the job. Why is he giving up $30 million per year so that he can jump on to an allegedly sinking ship? It seems to me that there are four possible answers. First, perhaps Paulson does not think that the Bush administration is as lame as the received wisdom believes it is. He thinks he can be part of the team that turns it around. Second, regardless of the prospects for the Bush administration, perhaps Paulson believes that this is his most direct route to a career in politics a la predecessor Jon Corzine. A distinguished career as Secretary of the Treasury could lead to all sorts of interesting opportunities in 2008 or 2010. Third, perhaps the senior players at Goldman pushed just a bit, each hoping to move up in power and income during the inevitable post-Paulson reshuffling of the deck. Thirty million dollars is a lot of payroll to pass around -- perhaps my co-blogger will offer his thoughts on that comment. Fourth, Paulson may just be hankering for a return to the White House. Back during the Nixon administration, he worked as assistant to John Erlichman. Just maybe, Hank Paulson did not want that to be his last job in government service.
Welcome aboard Greenmantim! I hope the content you find here will not exclude TH and me from extended family reunions. (I can just imagine the mutterings that must be occurring on that porch overlooking Buzzard Bay).
Never fear on that score, dear cousin! Family tents are more commodious than political ones, although someone usually ends up sleeping on the floor in either case. We had 24 at the old house on Buzzards Bay last weekend, with a major interior renovation underway that took over most of the 1st floor, no less.
And while the mutterings on the porch had a uniformity about them when it came to the policies of the current administration, seems I hear a good deal of that here as well on certain issues. And it is probably good for me to consider whether I would feel differently about our Iraqi intervention if it had happened on the watch and under the leadership of a President whose integrity and motives I respected. Probably I would, which is an interesting place for someone who tends left of center to find himself at the end of the day. One can always take comfort in Whitman (Walt, not Christy Todd): "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large,I contain multitudes."