Today's Qs for O's WH -- 4/21/10

TAPPER: I'm going to take another crack at Caren's* question. Is it important to President Obama that there be somebody on the court who's not from the judiciary, somebody who has experience --

GIBBS: Well, again, I -- you know, Jake, the president will make a decision on who that nominee -- who that next nominee will be. I think that, again, the reason I use the Sotomayor example is somebody who both had judicial experience but also had legal experience outside of simply rendering judgment on different cases. Again, I don't -- the president is somewhat early in this process and I don't know that -- I don't -- obviously he's not made a final decision on where that -- where that all comes down, except I think that it is important that -- for the president that the -- that a nominee have a diversity of legal experience, not just -- not just as a judge, but in different venues.

TAPPER: On financial regulatory reform, would the bill being considered in the Senate or the one that passed the House -- would either of them have prevented the alleged fraud that the SEC is currently suing Goldman over? GIBBS: I would -- I would direct you to the SEC and where they figure -- and where they've decided their case is. I think -- I think not the least of which broader -- in broader terms of financial reform, let's take the issue that the president has talked about in terms of derivatives. Bringing that type of activity out of the shadows into an exchange, something that's monitored and regulated -- look, I think in many ways, as these are complicated -- as the financial system is -- has a series of very complicated instruments, in many ways reform is simple in the premise of having it brought out of the dark and into the light, having that measure of transparency and regulation is a fairly simple concept in moving important reforms forward. So I don't doubt that there are a host of things in the legislation that -- that would have -- would have changed people's behavior from several years ago. TAPPER: Do you -- does the administration have an opinion on those in Wall Street who say that these -- this action you're proposing with derivatives would cost them hundreds of millions, if not a billion, dollars to take those steps?

GIBBS: Well, look, again, I think that we have to figure out a way, and the president believes that bringing activities like this out of the dark and into an exchange that's regulated is a commonsense step that prevents the potential for a set of risky decisions to be made that -- that no one but taxpayers bear responsibility for. I think that is -- that's what animates the president's decision-making on this, and I think it will animate the Senate's decision-making on passing financial reform.


*Caren Bohan from Reuters.

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