Lew was a wise choice      

Lew was a wise choice      

We’re under no illusions about President Barack Obama’s appointment of Jacob “Jack” Lew to be the next White House Chief of Staff.
Lew, 56, is an Orthodox Jew, a voting bloc that trends conservative. And many Orthodox voters are critical of the president’s positions on Israel. What better way to make peace with that voting bloc than to select one of its adherents to be the president’s closest advisor?
So in that respect, naming Lew to succeed outgoing Chief of Staff William Daley was politically shrewd, no doubt about it.
Having said that, the Lew appointment is a wise one as well. Here’s why:
Economically, the president is on a roll. The economy has added at least 100,000 jobs a month for six months in a row — the first time that has happened since 2006, when Republican George W. Bush occupied the White House.
The unemployment rate is edging downward, though it’s still too high, and manufacturing is picking up again. At the end of the day, presidential campaigns are won and lost based upon the performance of the economy, not on social issues and not on Israel.
So what better man for the chief of staff position than the current director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the man who is charged with drafting the proposed 2013 budget? For Lew, the economy is job one, and he’ll advise the president accordingly.
Plus, he has the credentials to do it.
A graduate of Harvard University and the Georgetown University Law Center, Lew, in another life, was the former senior policy advisor to then-House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill. At the time, he served at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as assistant director and then executive director, and was responsible for work on domestic and economic issues including Social Security, Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations and energy issues.
During the Clinton administration, Lew served his earlier stint as OMB director and joined the administration’s negotiating team that help crafted the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
And, as many Washington insiders are saying, Lew, who is the latest in a long line of Jews to serve as chief of staff, is well liked on Capitol Hill — more so than Daley — which is necessary if the president hopes to accomplish anything in an election year.
So Lew brings just the kind of background the president needs at just the time he needs it. That said, you can bet he will be a strong supporter of Israel as well. However, you slice it — or however you feel about this president — the selection of Lew was a wise one.