If Obama wants to show early on that he is willing to reach across the aisle, Sheila Bair would be a good pick for Treasury Secretary. Bair, a Republican and the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, has been vocal in her dislike of the current bailout plan, and often clashed with the White House. She pushed for more direct help for homeowners who might be facing foreclosure, including a yet to be finalized plan to spend as much as $50 billion on loan modifications. She hasn't made a lot of friends on Wall Street though, so her selection might not be well received by the financial markets. What's more, Obama would probably like to pick a new Treasury Secretary soon, in order to create stability and start the transition. So the next Treasury Secretary would have to cooperate with Paulson for the next month or so. And since Bair and Paulson have already been at odds, a smooth transition between the two is unlikely.
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