Freddie Mac has offered its top lobbying job to former White House aide Tim McBride, a move that could draw to a close a nine-month search for a successor to the ousted Mitch Delk, according to several sources close to the matter.
Freddie Mac hopes to make an announcement this week, though the sources cautioned that McBride has not yet accepted the offer.
McBride, once the body man for former President George H.W. Bush and now a corporate lobbyist with DaimlerChrysler, could not be reached for comment.
A Freddie Mac spokeswoman declined to comment and Nels Olson of Korn/Ferry International, the executive search firm in charge of filling the slot, could not be reached either.
But several lobbyists close to Freddie Mac said that the move is all but a done deal.
McBride’s hire would come as the Bush administration and several Republicans on Capitol Hill hope to approve legislation next year that would impose new federal regulations on Freddie Mac and its sister, Fannie Mae.
McBride would succeed Delk, the Republican lobbyist who was fired earlier this year after organizing a series of fundraisers for Republican lawmakers that became the subject of a Federal Elections Commission investigation.
The search for Delk’s replacement dragged on for months in part because Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron — a Democrat with close ties to the Massachusetts delegation — opted to wait until after the November elections in order to decide whether to hire a Republican or Democrat for the post.
Days after President Bush was elected to a second term, Clarke Camper, a Democrat who led Freddie Mac’s lobbying shop on an interim basis after Delk departed, left the company to take a lobbying job with GE Consumer Finance.
The hiring of McBride would mark a new era for the Washington operation of the mortgage market giant, roiled this year not only by the fundraising problems but also by an accounting scandal that forced out the company’s chief executive.
While McBride may not have as much experience in Freddie Mac’s bread-and-butter issues as some of the runners-up for the job, he is a longtime Bush family friend.
McBride began working for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1985 as a personal aide and followed him to the White House in the same role.
In 1991, he became executive assistant to then-White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, before returning to Bush’s staff as an assistant to the president for management and administration.
He joined DaimlerChrysler in 1996 and became head of its Washington office last year.