Shake Up

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December 23, 2008 10:48 a.m.

An observer chimes in …

Your coverage of the State Department this morning is burying the lede. In the eight years since the position was authorized, there’s never actually been a Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. The Obama administration is now reportedly planning to install Jack Lew in the post. And that’s big news.

Lew is a heavy-hitter. He served in the Clinton administration for eight years, winding up as Director of OMB, a cabinet-rank post. Now, he’s apparently returning at the Deputy level, an unusual move. He’s apparently being brought in, at least in part, to right the imbalance between State and Defense that has emerged during the Bush years. He’ll
take the lead in expanding State and enlarging its budget. But I suspect that he’ll also spearhead a long-overdue reorganization of the Foggy Bottom bureaucracy, as well. You don’t hire a guy like Jack Lew to preside over the status quo.

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