MR. LEW: Mr. President, it has been my honor to serve as your Chief of Staff and before that at OMB and the State Department. It’s really been a privilege to come to work every day as part of a team that’s dedicated to building a sound economy and a safer world.
Tim, you have been a friend and a colleague for many years -- actually, decades -- and the American people are better off for your outstanding service. And I thought I knew you pretty well, but it was only yesterday that I discovered that we both share a common challenge with penmanship. (Laughter.) Tim, I join the President and everyone here in wishing you and Carole and your whole family well.
As a kid growing up in Queens, I had dreams of making a difference in the world. These dreams were nurtured in a home where the gifts of American freedom and opportunity were cherished and never taken for granted, and the responsibility to engage in issues of public concern were part of daily life. I will always be grateful to my parents for grounding me in the values that have remained central to my personal and professional life.
I grew up professional in the office of Speaker O’Neill, whose compass was always clear and who demanded unvarnished advice on how best to reach the desired destination. Mr. O’Neill cared little about your age or rank, and only about whether or not you did the hard work to inform the decisions of the day. And he took a big chance giving a lot of responsibility to a very young man, and for that I’ll always be thankful.
Serving at OMB first under President Clinton and more recently in this administration, I worked with one of the finest teams in the government to execute a responsible fiscal policy while advancing policies to promote economic growth. I’m delighted to see so many of my friends from OMB here today.
At the State Department, I worked closely with our great Secretary of State and my friend, Hillary Clinton, to advance our nation’s national security agenda, including our international economic policies.
And as Chief of Staff, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a tremendously talented White House team, which manages policy, politics, communications, and complex operations every day with grace, skill, and loyalty.
If confirmed, I look forward to joining the Treasury Department, whose people are legendary for their skill and knowledge. It’s a team that I’ve collaborated with closely over many years and have come to respect greatly.
Finally, thank you to Ruth, Shoshi, Danny, Zahava, and the kids for your endless tolerance with the demands of a schedule that tests all family patience. And thank you, Mr. President, for your trust, your confidence, and friendship. Serving in your administration has allowed me to live out those values my parents instilled in me, and I look forward to continuing with the challenges ahead. (Applause.)