The New York rumor mill apparently believes that Carrión is itching to return to New York and is particulary interested in positioning himself to be Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's running mate when he runs for governor later this year. Carrión has also talked about possibly running for mayor of New York in 2013.
Our interest in Carrión is his current role as head of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, where he has received mixed reviews. According to the article:
As Rep. John Mica of Florida, a Republican who is the ranking member of the House Transportation Committee, watched Carrión speak in Manhattan, he said that Carrión was a virtual unknown among those in Congress.
“I think that this is the first time I’ve seen him,” Mica said.
Some observers say Carrión’s duties overlap with those of Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s head of intergovernmental affairs, who is also charged with breaking the “silos” between federal agencies, though with a broader focus.
In addition, some federal agency heads have formed new, more urban-friendly policies independent of Carrión, including former New York City housing commissioner Shaun Donovan, now the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Diana Lind, editor and publisher of Next American City, a national magazine that covers urban policy.
HUD has a staff of some 5,000 people. Carrión’s office, meanwhile, has a staff of only four. He does not have any formal lawmaking or policymaking responsibilities.
A lack of formal power has limited Carrión’s influence, but despite the limits of his office, questions also still remained about whether someone besides Carrión who would have had a stronger policy background could have played a bigger role.
“If there were a different director, maybe they would have been capable of pressuring the Obama administration,” Lind said.
Instead, Carrión’s role has largely evolved into traveling around the country to promote his the president's urban agenda and bring information from local officials back to Washington. During one recent week, Carrión met with the new mayor of Atlanta, flew to New Orleans to speak with the new mayor there, spoke at Harvard, met with the mayor of Boston, then came to New York City for the speech at the Waldorf Astoria.
Carrión said he had been happy with his role in the administration, noting that when he first convened an intergovernmental meeting of departments that deal with urban policies, 17 of them showed up, instead of the expected 10, and that these meetings have continued regularly. He said this shows the president’s enthusiasm for pursuing an urban-friendly agenda.