Selling The Tax Cut

New Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill must put the right spin on Bushonomics and deal with an ailing economy

When Paul H. O'Neill was named George W. Bush's Treasury Secretary, there were a lot of surprised faces on both Wall Street and K Street. Although he had a solid reputation as a top budget official in the Ford Administration and spent the past 13 years as chairman of Alcoa Inc., O'Neill wasn't on anybody's short list. First, Bush set out to find a Wall Street clone of Robert E. Rubin, but he was less than dazzled by his staff's picks. Then he flirted with the notion of signing up a savvy politician for the job, someone in the mold of former Nixon Treasury Secretary John B. Connally.

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