web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Obama to Nominate Frum Chief of Staff for Treasury

Lew appears qualified for this non-foreign policy position

President Barack Obama walking with Chief of Staff Jack Lew during a break from debate preparations in Williamsburg, Va., Oct. 14, 2012.

President Barack Obama walking with Chief of Staff Jack Lew during a break from debate preparations in Williamsburg, Va., Oct. 14, 2012.
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

There are those who think a politician cannot be charged with anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism if the politician appoints Jews or Israelis to high positions. President Obama has just handed such people another shield to hold up against those charges.  Bloomberg and other news sites are reporting that tomorrow, January 10, Obama will nominate his Orthodox current chief of staff, Jack Lew, to head the Treasury Department.  Lew would replace the out-going Timothy Geithner.

Staunchly pro-Israel and pro-American leaders and organizations have harshly criticized the president’s most recent nominations for three of the most significant positions in the U.S. government. Claims against all three have centered on their documented inclinations towards conciliation and negotiation with the most intractable Islamist and repressive governments, including Iran and Syria, and terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, while at the same time exhibiting a decided frigidity towards the Jewish State.  Those claims have been leveled against Senator John Kerry (R-MA) for Secretary of State, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB) for Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan for Director of the CIA, all of whom have encountered fierce resistance in certain sections of the staunchly pro-Israel community.

It is unlikely that Lew’s nomination will be met with hostility by the pro-Israel crowd, but that is not because he is an Orthodox Jew who strives to maintain his Shomer Shabbat life despite his demanding position.  Rather, a cursory review of Lew’s professional and academic background reveals a candidate who appears eminently qualified for what is a non-foreign policy position.

Lew was born and raised in Queens, New York, received degrees from Harvard College and Georgetown Law School, and spent most of his career in the public sector, including two stints heading the Office of Management and Budget, and serving as an aide to the late Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill (D-MA). His private sector positions have included managing director for Citigroup and as an executive vice president of New York University.

In his role as right hand man to the president, the Orthodox Lew was useful in using that hand to reach out to, and smooth down the feathers of, those mainstream American Jewish organizations and leaders for whom such outreach is meaningful. It was widely reported that Lew assisted Obama in making calls to the heads of such organizations, in trying to derail “Jewish” criticism of the Hagel nomination.

While Lew is unlikely to face hectoring from pro-Israel forces, what he will face as Treasury Secretary is more than sufficiently harrowing.  It will be his job to try and tame the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling.  That limit was reached on December 31, at which point the Treasury Department began using “extraordinary measures” to keep the government operating.  But those measures will be exhausted within the next few weeks, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

As the president’s chief of staff, Lew was already used as the president’s kosher imprimatur, but the Treasury Secretary is a higher profile position and one that sets policy, whereas chief of staff ostensibly controls access to the president, but is not an independent policy-making position.

An in-depth article about Lew which ran in November’s National Journal, reveals a man who very much shares this president’s views of government and spending priorities.

If Lew became Treasury secretary, members of the business sector and political observers say, it would send two messages from the administration to Wall Street and the financial community. First, that they don’t have an ally or one of their own in Washington. Second, that the White House intends to keep close watch over tax policy and international financial decisions.

The choice would make the Treasury job  an extension of the White House’s economic team.  “And [appointing] Jack Lew suggests that [Obama] is going to continue to be the principal economic spokesperson because Jack Lew is not Mr. Outside. He’s Mr. Inside,” says Rothkopf, the former Clinton official.

And in the most recent fiscal cliff negotiations, Lew was seen by some as being particularly obstructionist.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was reportedly irked by Lew’s intransigence.

Still, Treasury is hardly a position like Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense from which decisions that have an existential impact on Israel will be made.  Domestic spending issues are more frequently the focus of centrist Jewish organizations which tend to be dominated by Democrats, for whom a fiscal conservative might be a lightening rod.  Lew is unlikely to raise the ire of non-partisan pro-Israel organizations.

Of course, if Lew is moving to Treasury, who will be the president’s next chief of staff?  So far the names being floated include Denis McDonough, currently a deputy national security adviser, and Ron Klain, who had served as Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff.

If Lew’s replacement is Denis McDonough, sparks may yet fly.  McDonough has been fingered as one of the people most likely to have altered the famous CIA talking points on the attacks on Benghazi. The alteration of those points, it has been claimed, led the Obama administration to publicly blame the murderous violence on a crude little video which Muslims deemed insulting to their prophet, rather than immediately acknowledging that it was a planned attack by an al Qaeda affiliate against the United States on the anniversary of 9/11.  It is hard to believe the White House would want to bring the focus back on Benghazi, although most news sites which have mentioned McDonough as one of Lew’s likely successors did not even make the connection.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

15 Responses to “Obama to Nominate Frum Chief of Staff for Treasury”

  1. Stuart Kaufman says:

    Regardless of how observant this guy is, he is in bed with anti-semites. He is doing their dirty work, and serving as their beard.

  2. your article is an informative, clear, understandable and so readable.
    thank you so much..

  3. Putting a Jew in charge of the money?

    RAAAAAAAAAACIST!

  4. Adam Levick says:

    Excellent analysis, Lori.

  5. Gil Gilman says:

    you stole my thunder! shame on you…lol

  6. Gil Gilman says:

    you stole my thunder! shame on you…lol

  7. Gil Gilman says:

    you stole my thunder! shame on you…lol

  8. Gil Gilman says:

    Let's hope it isn't dirty work, and let's hope that as qualified as he is for the task, that he remembers the little people of America, you know, all the ones who aren't anti-semites. Beyond that, didn't Joseph have the Pharaoh's ear? And didn't Daniel captive in the Iranian empire have their leader's ear? We can all hope that he can grab the ear of leader of the American empire and give it a solid yank!

  9. David Conley says:

    Frum Jew or not makes no difference if he keeps borrowing trillions so obama can keep spending and ruining this once great country.

  10. Charlie Hall says:

    Although we never met, I see Jack Lew in synagogue quite often.

    It should be mentioned that the Secretary of the Treasury does have some important foreign policy duties. The Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the National Security Council, develops the US position on international financial, economic, and tax policy, and is the official US representative to many international financial and economic organizations.

  11. Charlie Hall says:

    Lori does a good job. :)

  12. Jacob Alperin-Sheriff says:

    LOL at the first sentence.

  13. And when I read in the Tablet article that his friends surround him in shul and keep others from pestering him about politics so that he might daven, I was thinking you were one of his protectors. I guess not then.

  14. Great, if all goes good ok, if wrong the Yids get the blame

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Dr. Ben Carson at the Western Wall.
Black GOP Leader Prays at the Western Wall for ‘Solomonic Wisdom’
Latest News Stories
Armed Palestinian Authority soldier, whom Abbas says he won't order to kill Jews but won't be able to stop him.

Palestinian Authority head says he can’t stop attacks on Jews.

Oscar-winner “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” has been selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry. The film, released in 2000, documents the rescue of some 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi-dominated Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the months leading up to World War II. […]

Dr. Ben Carson at the Western Wall.

Dr. Ben Carson is waiting for God to tell him if he should run for president.

Four arrested in crackdown on anti-assimilation group Lehava.

The decision of Uri Aril’s Tekuma faction to remain in the party and re-start a “Yesha faction” is a blessing.

PM Netanyahu lit the 5th Chanukah candle at the Kotel. We understand that he then sung a beautiful rendition of Maoz Tzur, but we unfortunately don’t have that on video.

It doesn’t pay to be a foreign volunteer soldier in the ISIS army.

This is the first flask of ritually pure olive oil made in 2000 years.

First Lebanon’s Hezbollah started the Second Lebanon War, now the UN wants Israel to pay Lebanon for damages.

Stern expressed dismay at Tzipi Livni’s merger with the Labor party.

The Islamic terrorist entered the police station and began stabbing policemen while yelling “Allah hu Akbar”.

Two girls in Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak were taking a selfie video when the rocket siren went off on Friday morning.

M. was sitting at a red light when he saw the terrorist run past him…

The small Arab parties are talking about merging, and this could result in 14 seats for the Arab sector.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."

Prosecutor in Ferguson case said ‘some witnesses lied under oath’ to support officer’s version of events.

The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.

Harvard announced it will “look into” its boycott of SodaStream. But will it remove the boycott?

Harvard boycotts SodaStream to avoid offense to Palestinian Arab students.

Report determines mosque fire blamed on “Jewish settlers” was actually an electrical fire.

Hundreds of schoolchildren killed or wounded in Taliban attack on Pakistani school.

Former AP correspondent exposes the shoddiness of modern journalism, especially about Israel.

Islamist terrorists have taken 13 hostage in a chocolates cafe in Sydney, Australia.

AQAP claims it hit an airbase in Yemen where American advisers are located.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-to-nominate-frum-chief-of-staff-for-treasury/2013/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: