Treasury Secretary John Snow resigned today and President Bush nominated Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Henry M. Paulson Jr. to replace him. As treasury secretaries go he seems like not a bad choice--well respected, smart and accomplished. And not that it matters much for the job at hand but he is apparently a pretty staunch environmentalist, a bird watcher who is also chairman of the Nature Conservancy and the chairman emeritus of the Peregrine Fund. (Hey, here's a thought, how about a guy like that for Interior or EPA?!)
But if you listen to W it's clear that it won't really matter. All his talk is about how Paulson will explain or sell administration policy. There's no mention at all of how he will craft American fiscal policy. That no doubt will remain a strictly political process as it has for the last five years--paying off constituent groups and enriching cronies rather than pursuing sound economic policy that will benefit the nation as a whole. Paulson will no doubt end up another decent man whose reputation is diminished by his affiliation with this group of shysters and charlatans.