President Obama’s choice of Jack Lew to be his new Director of OMB is a slight surprise and exactly right. I’m sure the crazy right in Congress will find a reason to oppose him — probably because he understands government — but the rest of us should be delighted.
Jack has already been an exceptional OMB director. He served with distinction as a senior congressional staff member. He has foreign policy experience; was provost of New York University; and was a senior executive at CitiCorp. More importantly right now, he knows how to work in a White House, and he is a good friend of Erskine Bowles, who co-chairs the President’s budget commission.
Finally and by no means the least of his merits, Jack is pathologically collegial. He is firm, balanced, calm and can make decisions. But he does all of this in a way that leads his colleagues to want to work with him. This is not a common White House trait.
We are entering a period when the OMB will be at the center of almost all policy making. And we are fortunate Jack Lew will be there.
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Bo Cutter is formerly a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm. Recently, he served as the leader of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team.