May 26, 2006 in Nation/World

Treasury secretary planning to step down

Washington Post The Spokesman-Review
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WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary John Snow, who has presided during a period of strong economic growth but at times seemed out of sync with President Bush, has informed the White House that he will resign in the coming days after three years as the nation’s chief economic officer, a source close to Snow said Thursday.

Snow asked the White House to announce his resignation in early June and said he plans to stay in the job no later than July 3 while a replacement is sought, the source said. The secretary’s decision was intended to bring finality to a process that has played out awkwardly in public over months as Snow’s job security has been a regular source of Washington speculation.

Republican insiders said possible candidates to succeed Snow include former Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a longtime Bush friend; current Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a former Kellogg Co. chief executive; Ambassador David Mulford, a former treasury undersecretary; and Stephen Friedman, the president’s former chief economic adviser and a former Goldman Sachs chief executive.

Snow’s impending departure has been expected for months, but word of his decision began leaking out Thursday.

Snow first told then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. around Christmas last year that he was ready to go, but said he would stay through the State of the Union in January until a successor could be found, according to the source close to Snow. But the White House had trouble finding a person of stature from Wall Street to take over a job that, under Bush, has become more about selling policy than making it, which is why his team has turned to current and former government officials, according to several sources.

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