But Davis will also bring some very high-profile baggage to Romney’s campaign. She arrived at Treasury from Fannie Mae, the giant, government-backed firm that backs a large share of the nations mortgages. She was vice president for regulatory policy at Fannie Mae from 2002 to 2006, and is listed as a registered lobbyist for the troubled and controversial entity — which made a practice of keeping a bipartisan squad of Washington insiders on payroll — in 2004. (Indeed, Mitt Romney attacked rival Newt Gingrich for taking payments from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae’s sibling entity.)
In her role, Davis defended Fannie Mae’s independence, despite substantial tax advantages: She was quoted in Newsday that year saying the entity “does not receive a penny of funding from the government” or any subsidy.
She also served at Fannie Mae during a time in which it was found to have doctored its earnings statements to juice executives’ bonuses, for which it paid a massive $400 million in penalties.
Davis’s own politics appear to roughly reflect Romney’s Establishment roots, if not always his outsider imagemaking. She help convince Congress and America of the necessity of the bank bailouts known as TARP, and has spoken warmly of the Obama Administration’s embrace of that program.
Indeed, Davis said in a recent speech in Hong Kong, pointed out by a Democratic source that she was pleased that Tim Geithner had been chosen to replace her boss, and that she played an active role in the transition to the Obama Administration.
“I went over there every couple of days and was on the phone every couple of days with every office, with the new people just to try to help with that transition,” she said.