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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

A glimpse of Rubin in the White House

By John King/CNN

May 12, 1999
Web posted at: 5:25 p.m. EDT (2125 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 12) - Outgoing Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is one of the most influential members of the Clinton Administration. Here are some glimpses of the person and his interactions in the Clinton White House.

• Rubin is the only Cabinet member to attend the 8 a.m. senior White House staff meeting. He sits every day at the head of the table in the Roosevelt Room, rarely speaking. When he does, he speaks with self-deprecating humor and often starts by saying "This is just one man's opinion," or "I could be wrong about this but..."

A senior official who attends these meetings says: "It's like the commercial, 'When he speaks, people listen."

• He told associates that he found the president's conduct in the Monica Lewinsky scandal reprehensible. But Rubin also delayed plans to leave the administration out of loyalty, knowing his departure would be viewed as abandoning the president and perhaps cause turmoil in the financial markets.

• He recently lobbied International Monetary Fund officials to press ahead with a new Russian aid package, despite personal reservations about Russia's abandonment of market reforms by making the case that abandoning Russia now would only make things worse.

• He is an avid fisherman.

• He is known for a dry but biting sense of humor. Although he has worked for months to position Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers to succeed him, Rubin recently told Summers he was thinking of calling it quits and asked him to compile a list of possible successors.


Robert E. Rubin profile


Treasury's Rubin to resign (CNNfn, 5-12-99)

Can this yen be saved? (TIME, 6-22-98)

The Rubin rescue (TIME, 1-5-98)


U.S. Department of Treasury

Rubin biography


Wednesday, May 12, 1999

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