The Plank

Schadenfreude, Anyone?

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For anyone interested in a little Treasury Department psychodrama, tune in tomorrow morning for a live webcast of an interview between Tim Geithner and Evercore Partners' Roger Altman at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Historians of the Clinton era will remember Altman as the Bentsen deputy Treasury secretary who fell on his sword in the early days of the Whitewater scandal; he went on to make bank on Wall Street but has forever been trying to find his way back to 15th and G. In pretty much every presidential race since, he has worked overtime as a Wall Street sherpa to one lucky candidate, who inevitably loses in the primaries or general election. In 2004 he was supposedly on tap to be President John Kerry's Treasury secretary, and he was angling hard for the job under President Hillary Clinton.

Tomorrow morning he'll be seated across from the man who holds the post he so long coveted. Normally, you'd expect lasers to burst forth from Altman's eyes to reduce the usurper to a smoldering pile. But, given recent events, I imagine the dynamic will be a little different ...

--Clay Risen

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