No matter how you feel about Timothy Geithner and his job performance, when the 75th Secretary of the Treasury steps down from his post, it will mark the end of a four-year term that has been enmeshed in turmoil from his first to his final day. Before he was sworn in, Geithner's Senate confirmation hearings were filled with critiques of his sloppy and erroneous tax returns. Presently he is winding down his days as a public servant not on the DC-party circuit, but rather as point man for the Obama administration's fiscal cliff negotiations.
Much has been written about who might succeed this Brooklyn-born former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with names ranging from the unlikely (Jamie Dimon) to the unprecedented (Hillary Clinton) to the unthinkable (Mitt Romney). While speculating can be fun, this high-profile position will probably be the hardest cabinet post President Obama has to fill. And according to Mark Dow, who now describes himself on Twitter (@Mark_Dow) as a "hedge fund manager, economist, Washington refugee, political junkie, anti-partisan," the skill set required to oversee the Treasury for this President is like nothing else.
"What we had, looking in the rear view mirror, were financial problems — very serious ones. And a lot of international issues," Dow says in the attached video, which was shot at the recent Minyanville Festivus charity event. "Going forward, it's going to be a very different set of problems that the Treasury Secretary is going to face. They're going to be increasingly international, but more importantly fiscal."
What that means, Dow says, is that the next TSOTUS, if you will, will need to be someone who knows Congress, has the confidence of key lawmakers, has a mastery of the budget process and is a skilled negotiator. In a recent write-up on the matter, Dow listed political skills, international diplomacy and trust of the president as the top prerequisites for the job, adding that "the best candidate for the job is
probably the last person who wants it."
From his purview, Dow falls into the "Hillary for Treasury" camp. Not because the current Secretary of State would be the first woman to ever hold the post, but for all the aforementioned reasons and more. He calls her a well-respected team player who would have the attention of the Capitol Hill, but also some doubts that she even wants the job.