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If Peter Orszag Was Your Intern...

...You should probably have been careful with the "we'll all be working for him someday"-type jokes. From Ryan Lizza's excellent Orszag profile in this week's New Yorker:

During the 2008 primaries, Obama had tried to draw a contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton on the issue of health care by emphasizing reduction of costs rather than just expansion of coverage. Days after Obama nominated him as director of O.M.B., Orszag met with Daschle at Daschle’s law offices to discuss health-care savings. Orszag believed that the ideas put forward by the Obama campaign were unproved. In budget jargon, they “wouldn’t score.” While at the C.B.O., he produced the book that Congress uses to estimate the cost of various health-care ideas. Orszag’s inside knowledge of the arcane congressional budgeting process seemed to give him an advantage over other White House advisers. With the budget gimmickry of the campaign cast aside, Orszag pushed for aggressive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, which, he argued, would show Congress that Obama was serious about controlling long-term costs. After February 3rd, when Daschle withdrew his nomination, because he had failed to pay some taxes, Orszag became perhaps the dominant voice on health care within the White House.

Then, a little later in the piece:

As a high-school student at Exeter, when all his political friends wanted to intern for the liberal hero Ted Kennedy, Orszag went to work for a far less glamorous figure—Tom Daschle. While his friends spent their time answering phones, he was writing Daschle’s speeches.

Also, don't miss the Ryan's highly entertaining account of a green-room conversation between Orszag and Jon Stewart.

--Noam Scheiber