Bush has just named Henry Paulson, the chairman of Goldman Sachs, to replace poor pitiful John Snow as the Treasury Secretary. Past Goldman Sachs chiefs to figure on the national scene include Robert Rubin and Jon Corzine, obviously formidable players.
It's a mystery to me why a person with such a high-powered job would want to be the Treasury Secretary at a time like this.
According to the New York Times, "Republicans had long been pushing for a change at Treasury, arguing that Mr. Snow, despite devoting much of his energy to making the case that the economy had flourished under Mr. Bush, had failed to convince the public at large. Mr. Paulson is known as an ardent and engaging salesman."
That undoubtedly is what the Bush Administration wants him for, since salesmanship is all they ask of a Treasury Secretary (Rove handles the actual economics). Raising, of course, the question of what Paulson thinks he is doing. No doubt they promised him more than this, but why would he believe them? (Or think they could deliver, at this point, even if they were so minded?)
Chuck Schumer is happy, praising Paulson's "experience, intelligence and deep understanding of national and global economic issues." Unfortunately, this is about as relevant to the responsibilities they are likely to give Paulson as the statement in the Times that he prefers birdwatching to playing golf.
UPDATE: The best phrase I've seen about this is that the Bush Administration was so desperate that they resorted to scraping the top of the barrel.