Obama Treasury Meetings, Without Geithner

Most of the candidates for Treasury Secretary, including Larry Summers and Bob Rubin, will be in Chicago today for a meeting between Barack Obama and his Transition Economic Advisory Board. But one much buzzed about potential pick, Timothy Geithner, the head of the New York Federal Reserve, is missing. A source familiar with the transition process strongly advised against reading too much into his absence.

“He couldn’t go out there,” said the source. “He has to be studiously neutral in all this stuff.”

Asked when a selection for the the Treasury position could be made, the source said, “They’ve got to be close, and I can’t imagine there will be any massive surprises.”

Obama’s key New York supporters familiar with the transition process have said that Summers, Geithner, and, to the extent that he is interested, Rubin, are the favorites for the job.

As for other important economic positions, the source said, “My guess is that you’d see N.E.C. filled right around when you see Treasury. And I think it would be probably not from that list,” referring to the members of the Economic Advisory Board.

That position, the source said, was more likely to be filled by a person more familiar and versed in the ways of Washington.

Obama Treasury Meetings, Without Geithner