It’s not clear whether Nides, who had also been on the short list to be President Obama’s chief of staff, has anything lined up for when he leaves. Maybe a bit of downtime? Before you break out the checkbooks to tide him over, let’s review his résumé.
After working as chief of staff for then-House Speaker Tom Foley and with a similar title at the U.S. trade representative’s office in 1993, Nides worked at Fannie Mae, then was president and chief executive of Burson-Marsteller, then CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley. So he should be okay for a while.
The department’s other deputy secretary,
, has agreed to stay to help with the transition. And we’re hearing that a substantial number of senior officials are also willing to extend. (One State official said they were “digging in,” but that seems a bit unkind.)
Meanwhile, some ambassadorships, including a few of the most highly prized, appear to be headed to some of the top Obama bundlers and contributors.
As we’ve written,
, Obama’s 2008 finance chairman, then ambassador to Sweden and again Obama’s 2012 finance chairman, is the odds-on favorite to become the ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, a.k.a. Britain.
John Emerson, a Clinton White House aide and in recent years a Los Angeles mega-fundraiser for Democrats and Obama, is said to be a leading contender for Germany.
Another major bundler and contributor,
, who’s the chairman and CEO of the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, is being talked about for Paris.
And local lawyer and huge bundler and contributor
is the leading pick for Rome. (Yes, the Loop was passed over once again.) Phillips’s wife,
, is a former longtime ABC News correspondent, Obama 2008 campaign aide and then the administration’s chief health-care spokeswoman. She is now head of corporate and strategic communications for the Atlantic.
Phillips, who has been eyeing that Rome post for a while, happens to own what some call a town — really just a village — in Tuscany. The ambassador’s residence in central Rome, Villa Taverna, is a great sprawling house set in a lovely garden complete with swimming pool, tennis court and fountains.
It’s certainly on a par, we’re told by someone who has stayed there, with Borgo Finocchieto, Phillips’s mountaintop village, with a manor house and four villas on six acres. Also a pool, a tennis court and a staff of 19.
Well, it takes a village.
Another Udall at Interior?
So much for a short list. Add another name to the possible candidates for interior secretary, a post that will be vacant when Ken Salazar departs the agency in March: Sen. Tom Udall