Everybody assumed that the Senate would confirm hard-working, navel-gazing Jack Lew as treasury secretary. And they just did. The real question is: Does Lew know what he's getting into? The first of three budget deadlines kicks in on Friday, and Lew has to take the lead on fixing the United States' substantial budget woes. Tim Geithner is surely thrilled to go on vacation instead.
It's a good thing Jack Lew is a budget wizard. Or at least he has experience with budget wizardry. Having been involved in budget setting since the Reagan era, Lew is surely familiar with the ins and outs of keeping this country's balance sheets in order. As President Clinton's White House budget director, Lew did just that and helped lead America to a series of budget surpluses. And while opinions vary on whether that's a good thing, few people doubt whether Lew was good at his job. The same goes for Lew's most recent stint as Obama's chief of staff. (He's especially good at quitting jobs, too.) It's hard to get a better reference than the one Obama gave Lew after his confirmation: "At this critical time for economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack."
Suffice it to say, everybody has high hopes for Lew. National Journal even called him "The Man Who Could Save Obama's Legacy." And now we get to see Lew's magic in action. The most you'll get to interact with the new treasury secretary is most likely with his squiggly signature on the new dollar bills.