Warner won’t consider Treasury Secretary post
Late last week the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was considering stepping down from his post after he helps to navigate the White House through contentious talks over the federal debt ceiling.
Predictably, Geithner denied the report, but that did not stop the Beltway chatter over his possible replacement. Most of the potential replacements come from Wall Street, but the Journal did speculate that if President Barack Obama wanted to break away from the financial crowd, that he might look to Virginia Senator Mark Warner.
The White House could look for a similar background for its next Treasury Secretary, which has led many to speculate that former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles or Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) could be tapped, as both have extensive relationships with Republicans and have tried to broker deficit-reduction deals. – DAMIAN PALETTA, Wall Street Journal (Full story subscriber only)
Warner told me today that he considers the federal debt crisis, the most important challenge of his career, but said that he believes he can do more to effect change as 1 of 100 as opposed to the top dog at the federal agency responsible for printing money.
“I would put it in the idle speculation category,” Warner said. “I hope I can add some value in Virginia and the country as being one of these guys in the Senate that says neither side has all the answers and you’ve got to find some common ground.”
Warner has made no secret of his frustration over the bickering on Capitol Hill over the debt debate and appears at times to be disappointed that he can’t find more partners to put their party affiliations aside for the greater good.
“It’s a lot harder here in the Senate,” he said.
Despite the difficulty he has faced on the legislative side of debate, Warner isn’t ready to abandoned his efforts for the Treasury Department.
“I would not consider that kind of opportunity,” said Warner. “I’m not sure it is a realistic opportunity anyway… I just hope and pray that I can be a part of a common sense solution to this debt and deficit issue.”
Of course, the job isn’t open yet, but Warner seemed to be trying to shut down any speculation before it even gets to that point.
His full comments on the speculation can be found below: