President Obama on Thursday announced the nomination of Jack Lew as Secretary of the Treasury. Lew is Obama's current Chief of Staff and a former director at the Office of Management and Budget.
The pick is part of a transition for the Obama White House from big-name economists to budget negotiators gearing up for the pending rounds of fiscal fights with Congress.
"Over the past year I've sought Jack's advice on virtually every decision I've made from economic policy to foreign policy," Obama said. "One reason Jack has been so effective in this town is because he is a low key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras. And over the years he's built a reputation as a master of policy who can work with members of both parties and forge principled compromises."
If confirmed, the 57-year-old will become President Obama's second Secretary of the Treasury, replacing the outgoing Tim Geithner.
"If confirmed I look forward to joining the Treasury Department whose people are legendary for their skill and knowledge," Lew said. "It's a team that I've collaborated with closely over many years and have come to respect greatly."
There were some lighter moments during Thursday's announcement as President Obama took time to make mention of Lew's now-infamous loopy signature.
"I had never noticed Jack's signature and when this was highlighted yesterday in the press I considered rescinding my offer to appoint him," Obama said. "Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed as the next secretary of the Treasury."