Paulson's New Powers Put More Focus on Successor

Obama could keep Treasury chief; weak-on-economy McCain seen to have few options
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Sep 22, 2008 9:53 AM CDT
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appears on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Henry Paulson’s handling of Wall Street’s financial crisis has consolidated so much power for the Treasury secretary that Barack Obama is considering keeping him on board if he wins the November election, the New York Times reports—and it’s heightened speculation about who might succeed him in a new administration. While Obama has several likely candidates, John McCain’s options look limited.

With a plan before Congress that could make the Treasury’s budget bigger than the Pentagon’s, former Clinton administration hands could get the call, including former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former adviser Laura Tyson, or New York Fed chair Timothy Geither. On the Republican side, his “nation of whiners” gaffe has taken former Sen. Phil Gramm out of the running; World Bank chief Robert Zoellick may be McCain’s frontrunner.