Ryan Changes his Mind About Treasury Job

To lose

one undersecretary of international

affairs could be considered a misfortune; to lose

two – especially when #2 hasn’t even started in the job yet –

looks suspiciously like carelessness.

Tim Adams, the incumbent undersecretary, announced

[pdf] his resignation in February, saying – honest – that he wanted

to spend more time with his family. (Jack

Shafer has everything you need to know about that old chestnut.)

His replacement was to be Timothy Ryan, but he, too, seems

to have discovered "personal reasons" why he doesn’t want the job.

It’s a hard job, and it’s largely thankless, and the Treasury secretary himself,

Hank Paulson, seems to have taken personal control of the juiciest

part of it, which is China. But Ryan knew all that going in.

Adams has just one week left at Treasury, and Clay Lowery,

his deputy, looks set to step in until a more permanent replacement can be found.

Up until now, the position has been an oasis of competence within the Bush administration.

With luck, Paulson will be able to find someone good who’s willing

to do the job, despite the fact that if the Democrats win the White House in

2008, the new appointee will be unemployed come January 2009.

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