Obama introduces his economic team

OBAMA INTRODUCES HIS ECONOMIC TEAM…. For all the talk we’ve heard in recent weeks about possible cabinet selections, today was the first and most meaningful announcement to date about the president-elect’s team.

President-elect Barack Obama said Monday that the country is facing an “economic crisis of historic proportions,” and unveiled the team he has chosen to help get the economy back on track.

Obama said he sought leaders who share his fundamental belief that “we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street.” […]

Details of the plan are still being worked out by his economic team, Obama said, but he hopes to sign the two-year, nationwide plan shortly after taking office January 20.

The president-elect said Monday that he has asked his newly formed economic team to develop recommendations for his plan and to consult with Congress, the current administration and the Federal Reserve on immediate economic developments over the next two months.

To that end, Obama announced his selection of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury; Lawrence Summers as the Director of our National Economic Council; Christina Romer as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors; and Melody Barnes as Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Geithner and Summers are fairly well established figures and have been slated for these positions since last week, but Romer and Barnes are arguably less well known. Mike Allen and Jackie Calmes had helpful items on Romer’s background.

But it’s Barnes, moving to the White House by way of the Center for American Progress, who’s of particular interest. Yglesias had a good post on Barnes and the Domestic Policy Council.

The DPC is in charge of interagency coordination and policy formation for such topics as education, immigration, criminal justice, and health care — in short, domestic policy. This hasn’t been a very high-profile role under the Bush administration since Bush doesn’t really believe in domestic policy aside from tax cuts, but for an administration that’s trying to play a constructive role in American life it’s a very important job. […]

Barnes has some of the liberal credentials that people have seen lacking in some other Obama appointments. She served as Chief Counsel to Ted Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2003, was CAP’s Executive Vice President for Policy, and then left to join Obama’s campaign as policy director.