(CNN) - Erskine Bowles, former co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit reduction commission and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said Thursday he isn't seeking a major job in the Obama administration. He also characterized the debt reduction deal reached this week as "a step in the right direction" but acknowledged that the deal, and failure to enact his commission's recommendations, was a "missed opportunity."
Bowles said on CNN's "The Situation Room" that he is not interested in an appointment as Treasury Secretary. Secretary Tim Geithner has indicated he will step down in the near future, and it is thought that White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is his most likely successor.
"Look, I'm 67 years old. I've been gone from home for over a dozen years doing various public service things, and I've come home and I've got nine grandchildren under seven and I really want to stay home," he said. "So I don't want a full time job either in the public or the private sector."
Bowles said he saw the fiscal cliff as presenting a "magic moment where we had a chance for our generation to do something big to put our fiscal house in order and we absolutely blew it."
"I would have voted for it" nonetheless, he said. "I think going over the cliff would have been an economic disaster for the country - it was too much too quick."
As the Congress approaches future fiscal deadlines - including over the sequestration, a measure to fund the government, and the debt ceiling - Washington leaders should be more proactive.
"For God's sake, I wouldn't wait until the last minute," he said. "We've had enough of this brinksmanship, this moving from crisis to crisis. That is a foolish way for any organization - small or large, much less the U.S. government, the largest economy in the world - to run its organization."