Source: Treasury secretary to resign

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WASHINGTON (AP) -Treasury Secretary John Snow has signaled to the White House he is ready to resign once President Bush has picked a successor, administration officials and people close to Snow said Thursday.

They said Snow has made clear he eventually intends to return to the private sector. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Snow is not ready to discuss his plans publicly.

It’s unclear when Snow will offer his resignation and the president said he has heard nothing about it.

“He has not talked to me about resignation,” Bush said at a news conference Thursday night. “I think he ‘s doing a fine job. After all, our economy is strong,” Bush said, fielding reporters’ questions in an appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Snow, meanwhile, still plans on attending a meeting of finance ministers from the world’s richest countries June 9-10 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Treasury Department spokesman Tony Fratto declined to comment on Snow’s future. “I don’t speculate on personnel matters,” he said.

Snow, 66, took over Treasury in February 2003.

He replaced Paul O’Neill, whose blunt talking style came to irk the White House as well as some Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress. Unlike O’Neill, Snow hasn’t veered from the Bush economic line. Still, the White House is said to want a more effective salesman for the president’s economic policies.

People inside the administration said a replacement for Snow has not been chosen.

Possible contenders who have been mentioned include Stephen Friedman, who had served as director for Bush’s National Economic Council.

The speculation about Friedman, who was formerly chief executive at Goldman Sachs, is being driven in part by the fact that Friedman has close ties to Joshua Bolten, another former Goldman Sachs executive who recently replaced Andrew Card as Bush’s chief of staff.

It was Bolten who helped recruit Friedman to serve as the head of Bush’s National Economic Council during the president’s first term.

Bolten has been leading a shake-up in administration personnel since he was tapped as Bush’s new chief of staff.

Another possibility for the Treasury job is Don Evans, Bush’s former commerce secretary and a close personal friend of the president.

Yet another person being mentioned is David Mulford, who was appointed by Bush to be the U.S. ambassador to India. He served as undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department during the administration of Bush’s father.

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick has made little secret that he wanted the top Treasury job, but was not expected to get it. If passed over for the promotion, Zoellick would probably leave his current job for a job on Wall Street.

There had been earlier speculation about a number of Wall Street executives possibly taking Snow’s job. However, many of those individuals indicated that they were not interested in taking the Treasury slot.



AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.

AP-ES-05-25-06 2011EDT


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