Donovan to OMB in the works for years?


(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

The news that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is moving to head the Office of Management and Budget took Washington by surprise — but perhaps it shouldn’t have. Apparently it’s been in the works for years.

We’re hearing from an Obama administration source that Donovan was first considered for the job in 2010 after Peter Orszag stepped down. Larry Summers, who was then at the helm of the National Economic Council, was gunning for him behind the scenes. Donovan even formally interviewed for it, but the job went to Jack Lew, who is now treasury secretary.

The high-level musical chairs, with Donovan replacing OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is taking over for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, squares with Obama’s style of surrounding himself with people whom he has established ties.

Donovan is one of a handful of top administration officials remaining who have been in the same job since the very beginning of Obama’s presidency.

There is also some chatter that Donovan could someday run for public office in New York, his home state. Perhaps for mayor. Donovan would not be the first New Yorker to make the leap from HUD secretary to public office holder. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was President Bill Clinton’s HUD secretary.

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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Colby Itkowitz | May 19