White House Shake Up:Treasury Secretary Snow Resigns, Replaced by Goldman Sachs Chairman
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary John Snow resigned Tuesday and President Bush nominated Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr. as his replacement _ another chapter in the shake-up to revive Bush’s troubled presidency.
“He has a lifetime of business experience. He has intimate knowledge of financial markets and an ability to explain economic issues in clear terms,” Bush said of Paulson in a Rose Garden announcement.
He praised Snow for showing “strong leadership” at Treasury.
Snow, the former head of railroad giant CSX Corp. who has a Ph.D. in economics, has been Treasury secretary since February 2003. His departure has been rumored for more than a year.
Paulson has been chairman of Goldman Sachs for about eight years. It is considered one of the premier financial firms on Wall Street and has sent a number of its top executives to high positions in Washington.
Robert Rubin, one of Paulson’s predecessors, served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, and Jon Corzine, another Goldman Sachs chairman, served as a U.S. senator from New Jersey and is now governor of that state.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said he talked to Paulson on Tuesday morning and praised Bush’s selection to be the new Treasury secretary.
“His experience, intelligence and deep understanding of national and global economic issues make him the best pick America could have hoped for,” Schumer said. The senator said he would support the nomination.
Welcoming Paulson to the Cabinet, Bush praised the economy under his own watch. “The American economy is powerful, productive and prosperous, and I look forward to working with Hank Paulson to keep it that way.”
Snow, who has called Paulson “a very able executive, a friend of mine,” thanked Bush for his time in the Cabinet and said he looked forward to private life.
Speculation that Paulson would take over from Snow increased after Bush shook up his White House staff earlier this year, replacing Andrew Card as his chief of staff with Joshua Bolten, a former Goldman Sachs executive who had worked with Paulson.
Card’s departure was followed by a string of other personnel moves as Bush sought to reinvigorate his presidency, mired in the lowest approval ratings since he took office in 2001. Among other changes, Bush forced out CIA chief Porter Goss, trimmed the portfolio of political adviser Karl Rove and replaced press secretary Scott McClellan with television commentator Tony Snow.