NWP
Obama taps Walmart Foundation head as budget chief
by NWP
March 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Obama taps Walmart Foundation head as budget chief

Adam Crowley / PR Newswire via Newscom

Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

President Barack Obama will nominate Walmart Foundation head Sylvia Mathews Burwell to direct the Office of Management and Budget, a senior administration official confirmed to NBC News on Sunday.

Burwell, 47, runs Walmart’s philanthropic arm and served as the deputy director of the OMB during the Clinton administration and chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. If confirmed by the Senate, she would take on one of the most important jobs in the administration during the middle of an intense budget battle
between the White House and Republicans in Congress.

“Burwell has a proven record as a thoughtful problem solver who builds consensus to get things done,” according to a White House official. She has a “deep knowledge of budget and economic issues along with her record of fighting for working Americans make her the perfect choice to lead the OMB at this important time.”

The official stressed Burwell’s history as a bipartisan problem solver who helped craft the budget surpluses seen in the 1990s.

Before joining the Walmart Foundation, Burwell was president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. When she left to join the retail giant in 2012, she also led Walmart's Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative.

Burwell’s appointment will also help bring diversity to the president’s cabinet, which was criticized earlier this year after Obama appointed a series of white males to top positions. She would be only the second woman to hold the position, according
to the Washington Post.

Walmart president Mike Duke said in a statement that Burell “understands business and the role that business, government and civil society must play to build a strong economy that provides opportunity and strengthens communities across the country.”

Obama will announce the nomination on Monday. Burrell would replace acting OMB director Jeffrey Zients.

Replies

  • soonergirl980
    March 3, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    I thought wal-mart and everything associated with Wal-Mart was evil why would he do this?

  • SEEKEROFSHELLS
    March 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

     Uh oh. I vote No. Walmart is horrible with employees that get hurt. They block workers compensation. In California they were barred from anything to do with workers comp for 10 years. It went to a nuetral entity. I am not buying this at all. I have Obamacare ringing in my head with this one. Government in a spot. We will pay for those that aren't high income and you bring in a woman that worked for Walmart that is famous for blocking workers comp. 

  • NWP
    by NWP
    March 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I could go on about my hate/love (inverted phrase intentional) relationship with WalMart...but I have already done that in a previous post.

    Even evil monsters can give back sometimes. To his credit, she was the head of the philanthropic arm, which actually does a lot of wonderful things....despite the evil heart of the machine.

    Quoting soonergirl980:

    I thought wal-mart and everything associated with Wal-Mart was evil why would he do this?


  • krysstizzle
    March 3, 2013 at 11:09 PM
    My one concession of fairness: corporate foundations often operate pretty independently from the main corporation.

    However, still not impressed. Not surprised either though, Michelle obama's move it campaign partnered with wall mart. Blech.
  • soonergirl980
    March 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM


    Just so we are clear I'm sure you know this, but I don't actually think Wal-Mart is evil. I don't know enough about her to actually have a position on this appointment at the moment.

    Quoting NWP:

    I could go on about my hate/love (inverted phrase intentional) relationship with WalMart...but I have already done that in a previous post.

    Even evil monsters can give back sometimes. To his credit, she was the head of the philanthropic arm, which actually does a lot of wonderful things....despite the evil heart of the machine.

    Quoting soonergirl980:

    I thought wal-mart and everything associated with Wal-Mart was evil why would he do this?




  • NWP
    by NWP
    March 3, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    OK thanks for clarifying....But most people do, and in many ways they are.

    But they also do a lot of great things. They paid for my DH's PhD and the fellowship that supported our family for the four years he studied.

    Quoting soonergirl980:


    Just so we are clear I'm sure you know this, but I don't actually think Wal-Mart is evil. I don't know enough about her to actually have a position on this appointment at the moment.

    Quoting NWP:

    I could go on about my hate/love (inverted phrase intentional) relationship with WalMart...but I have already done that in a previous post.

    Even evil monsters can give back sometimes. To his credit, she was the head of the philanthropic arm, which actually does a lot of wonderful things....despite the evil heart of the machine.

    Quoting soonergirl980:

    I thought wal-mart and everything associated with Wal-Mart was evil why would he do this?





  • Donna6503
    March 3, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Actually, Walmart leaderships and the Democrats have had many poeple share position in both the company and party. This isn't the first time, nor the last, where a Walmart official has gone on to work for a democratic administration. Or the reverse, where an administrator has gone on to work for Walmart.


    It is no big deal.

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    March 3, 2013 at 11:29 PM

     It says she helped craft the budget during the Clinton administration and that is a plus. Our economy was in good shape in the 90's. It started falling apart after 2001. HERE:

     

    Burwell has a proven record as a thoughtful problem solver who builds consensus to get things done,” according to a White House official. She has a “deep knowledge of budget and economic issues along with her record of fighting for working Americans make her the perfect choice to lead the OMB at this important time.”

    The official stressed Burwell’s history as a bipartisan problem solver who helped craft the budget surpluses seen in the 1990s.

    Before joining the Walmart Foundation, Burwell was president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. When she left to join the retail giant in 2012, she also led Walmart's Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative

  • NWP
    by NWP
    March 4, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    WalMart and Bill Clinton have a relationship that goes back to when he was governor of the state of Arkansas. Both were big power players there and it makes sense they have a connection and a history.

    That said, there is still a HUGE fiscal conservatism that drives that company and influences the state of Arkansas and is one of the reasons that state continues to get redder.

    Also one of the reasons the state never financially got in the red during the recession, one of the few that did not. Between Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, the Dillard family and others, this state is chock full of privately owned corporate wealth.

    Quoting Donna6503:

    Actually, Walmart leaderships and the Democrats have had many poeple share position in both the company and party. This isn't the first time, nor the last, where a Walmart official has gone on to work for a democratic administration. Or the reverse, where an administrator has gone on to work for Walmart.


    It is no big deal.


  • coolmommy2x
    March 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM
    Usually foundations are independent from the corporate side so if she's qualified (which she is) and has experience (which she does), then I say good for her. Her success in this position will benefit us.