In several conversations with Democratic insiders about Barack Obama’s transition process over the last week, one prospect that apparently was under consideration by the campaign was to temporarily appoint a well-known and highly credible figure to the position of Treasury Secretary to instill confidence until the nation overcame the current financial crisis.
It was in that context that the name came up of Paul Volcker, who served two terms as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1979-87, has been credited often for helping prevent runaway inflation in the 1980s, and who appeared with Obama at an economic forum in Lake Worth, Fla., on Tuesday. Warren Buffett, another Obama supporter, also fell into that category. And somewhat less seriously, so did Michael Bloomberg, though the discussion of his name has been characterized to me by insiders as little more than chatter. (This was true even before the mayor was apparently cleared today to run for a third term by the City Council.)
But the tide definitely seems to have turned against that idea. Several sources with knowledge of the transition process, which is moving along at a speedy clip towards short lists, told The Observer that the campaign was pursuing a different avenue.
As one source told The Observer, “You want more of a commitment.”