Obama budget boss embroiled in unlikely sex scandal 

The Office of Management and Budget, best known for mathematical models and deficit forecasts, has dragged the buttoned-down Obama administration into an unlikely sex scandal.

Budget Director Peter Orszag's former girlfriend, shipping heiress Claire Milonas, gave birth to his daughter six weeks before Orszag announced his engagement to ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga on Dec. 29.

After the scandal broke in the New York Post, Orszag and Milonas released a statement saying their relationship ended in the spring of 2009.

"In November, Claire gave birth to a beautiful baby girl," the statement said. "Although we are no longer together, we are both thrilled she is happy and healthy, and we would hope that everyone will respect her privacy."

Part of what makes the story a head scratcher is the identity of the Lothario -- a lanky, bespectacled number cruncher with a nasal voice who wears two BlackBerries clipped to his belt. Orszag is an unlikely figure to inspire the cable news headline "Budget Baby Mama Drama," which appeared on MSNBC.

The budget director, 41, has two children from a previous marriage. Golodryga, 31, announced their engagement on "Good Morning America" last month. Orszag's daughter with Milonas, Tatiana Zoe, was born Nov. 17 in New York.

"It all has to do with 'power is an aphrodisiac,' " said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution. "Peter is one of the most powerful guys in the U.S. government."

Hess recalled that when Orszag worked at Brookings, from 2001 to 2007, he was a new father in his first marriage and often looked "haggard" getting his morning coffee.

It was a surprise from an administration that emphasizes the value of strong families. As a candidate, Obama won plaudits for a 2008 Father's Day speech that asked America's men to do more:

"But if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing -- missing from too many lives and too many homes," Obama said. "We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child -- it's the courage to raise one."

On Capitol Hill, the axis of many Washington sex scandals, few wanted to discuss Orszag's complicated love life. The White House was testy about the scandal, referring reporters to the parents' joint statement.

"It's certainly not the most important story of the day, but I think it's quite relevant and should get some notice," said Brent Baker, vice president for publications for the conservative Media Research Center.

The organization's liberal counterpart, Media Matters for America, declined to comment.

Who knew spreadsheets on debt service could be so racy? Ana Marie Cox, national correspondent for Air America and former Wonkette blogger, called Orszag "nerd-hot."

Examiner writers Susan Ferrechio and William C. Flook contributed to this report.

jmason@washingtonexaminer.com

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