Obama Picks Geithner and Lynn Aren't 'Change'

Tim Geithner and William Lynn show that Obama's promises of change have gone out the window.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

President Obama promised change. But some of his cabinet and subcabinet appointments have been anything but. I posit two examples here, first Treasury Secretary-designate Tim Geithner:

Timothy F. Geithner became the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on November 17, 2003. In that capacity, he serves as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for formulating the nation's monetary policy.

Geithner is the consummate insider, and President Obama even said so himself in pushing for Geithner's confirmation, despite serious income tax issues. Geithner is extremely bright, clued in, and knows the system. All of these are good things. But they do not represent change.

Neither does the nomination of William Lynn as deputy defense secretary:

The Obama administration made an exception to its ban on hiring lobbyists in nominating William Lynn, who lobbied for Raytheon, one of the military's top contractors.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has said that the rules require "reasonable exceptions" for "uniquely qualified individuals."

McCain says it's "a bit disingenuous" to announce strict rules and then waive them for one of the most important jobs in Washington.

Still, he says, "we need to probably move forward" with the nomination.

The Pentagon announced Friday that Lynn will sell his stock in Raytheon. But he won't be forced to step back from decisions related to his former employer. Instead, his dealings at the Defense Department will be subject to ethics reviews for one year.

Funny how once they win election, politicians' promises go out the window.