White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans to resign, a Democratic official said Monday night, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Barack Obama's team to depart the administration.
Orszag is expected to leave in the coming months. The exact timing is not known.
As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag holds Cabinet-level rank and a pivotal role in shaping and defending how the administration spends the public's money. He quickly emerged from a bureaucratic post to become a camera-friendly face of Obama's government, often in front on plans to confront the deficit and to spur the economy.
The official confirmed the news to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.
Orszag's spokesman, Kenneth Baer, said only: "Peter's focused on his work, not on Washington speculation."
And while most of these anonymous reports turn out to be true, even after spokespersons make statements that "nothing has been decided", I have to wonder why a news outlet as storied as the Associated Press is all to eager to use unsourced information. Granted, many people in todays world are rightfully skeptical in using their identities in relation to a given report, but this does tend to make the AP look like a bit of a "fly by night" operation.
That aside, this pending resignation from the Obama White House is going to be fodder for conservatives for quite some time. We'll be hearing the phrase "under the bus" for no less than a month, if not more.
But could this be Orzag sacrificing himself in order to help burnish the image of the Obama administration? I hardly see how it would even begin to work, considering how no matter what changes are made within the administration, conservatives will not be happy untill Obama leaves office - either by refusing to run for re-election, resigns, is impeached, or worse.
There are even whispers of Orzag taking Tim Geithner's place as Treasury Secretary, though I hasten to give that even a modest amount of reflection, considering that would send the conservative movement into even more of a tailspin. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity would likely be reduced twitching madmen - well, more than they are right now anyway.
Regardless of the reasons why Orzag is possibly leaving, it's a win/win for conservatives. They will crow that this is somehow a "victory" for the conservative movement - possibly more so than when Van Jones left his advisory duties. I'm almost certain that the producers of Glenn Beck's program are already gearing up for a multi-part special report on how Peter Orzag was in league with George Soros in financially destroying America via Socialist/Communist/Marxist economic policies.