At the end of the day last Wednesday, Obama aides and a handful of Senators hashed out the details of a $787 billion spending package in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office.It's a daydream. In addition to being a philosophy professor, I try to do other things well, and maybe I'll do them really well, and somebody, amazed, will say, "Aren't you an academic?" And then the President will sign a big increase in humanitarian aid to poor countries / the colonel and I will turn and walk away from the corpse of Osama Bin Laden / she'll drift off contentedly to sleep.
Larry Summers, the architect of the plan, was no longer in the room, and even Rahm Emanuel – who was leading the White House team – sometimes stepped out for meetings. To Reid’s surprise, that left a familiar figure, Peter Orszag, the boyish, gangly director of Obama’s Office of Management and Budget in a position to shape the final compromise.
“Senator Reid seemed particularly surprised that I was effective,” Orszag recalled during an interview in the Old Executive Office Building Tuesday. “He kept saying, like, ‘Aren’t you an academic?’”
"In my mind if there is hero in all of this it is Peter Orszag,” Reid, who knew Orszag from his previous role as director of the Congressional Budget Office, observed, unprompted, to Politico’s David Rogers after the deal was done. “He was wonderful.”
Anyway, plenty more good stuff in the article about Orszag laying the groundwork for health care reform.