President Bush selected CSX Corp. Chairman John W. Snow as the new treasury secretary.
Snow, who was a Transportation Department official in the Ford administration, is chairman, president and chief executive of CSX, a freight and transportation conglomerate that operates the largest rail freight network in the eastern United States.
Snow is to replace Paul H. O'Neill, who was fired by Bush on Dec. 6. The administration is attempting an urgent midterm correction to boost the flagging economy as the 2004 campaign season begins.
Administration officials said Snow, 63, was picked partly for a skill that they saw lacking in O'Neill: an ability to communicate Bush's policy clearly on television and Capitol Hill. The officials also cited Snow's familiarity with Washington policymakers and his record in business beyond New York.
Bush made two other economic appointments.
He named investment banker Stephen Friedman as his chief economic adviser, providing a new conduit to Wall Street as the White House gears up to sell a new package of tax cuts. Friedman, 64, replaces Lawrence B. Lindsey, who also was forced out. Friedman is former chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
William H. Donaldson, a longtime Bush family friend who has deep roots in Washington and on Wall Street, was named the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as the White House and corporate America struggle to restore trust in the nation's securities markets.
Snow, a solid Republican with ties to moderate Democrats, was a tireless champion of deregulation when he was deputy undersecretary at the Transportation Department under President Gerald R. Ford. Vice President Cheney, who led the selection process for O'Neill's successor, was White House chief of staff under Ford.
-- Mike Allen