President Barack Obama nominated current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be the next Secretary of the Treasury this afternoon at the White House.Lew will replace current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
“This is bittersweet,” Obama said, giving Lew high praise.
“Jack has been my Chief of Staff for the last year. I trust his judgment, value his friendship, know few people of greater integrity. My loss will be the nation’s gain.”
He added: “Jack knows that every number on a page, every dollar we budget, decision we make, has to be an expression of our values.”
Obama also commended the outgoing Geithner and his four years of work.
“When the history books are written, Tim Geithner is going to go down as one of our finest secretaries of the Treasury,” Obama said.
The ceremony was a lighthearted one, and included jokes from both Obama and Lew himself about Lew’s much talked-about loopy signature.
Lew made the first crack, telling Geithner “we both share a common challenge with penmanship.”
Obama came back to the podium after Lew was done speaking and joked that he considered rescinding Lew’s nomination when he became aware of Lew’s signature yesterday.
“Jack assures me he will work to make at least one letter legible so as not to debase our currency,” Obama said.
For reference, here’s Lew’s signature:
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