An Auto Industry Czar in the Offing
By Ben Pershing
Are we about to nationalize the auto industry? The question doesn't seem so far-fetched, as Congress and the Bush administration inch closer to a bailout deal that "would give the U.S. government a substantial ownership stake" in the Big Three automakers and a guiding role, via a newly created oversight position, in how they're managed.
How about Al Gore for auto czar? There's zero evidence that he would be a candidate for the post, but the former vice president's planned meeting with Barack Obama in Chicago has given rise to all manner of speculation. Yes, the jobs of energy secretary and EPA administrator are open, but the odds that Obama would put Gore in either of those jobs look to be roughly nil. Don't waste any precious brain fuel by even thinking about it, though it's always possible he could be given some other new title like "Energy Czar."
Republicans are today heavily focused on their own future, likely because their recent past has been pretty depressing. Joseph Cao's surprising win in Louisiana has given the party an accidental new hero, and the fact that almost no one in the national GOP helped Cao get elected or even knew who he was before Saturday hasn't stopped Republicans from touting his victory as evidence of ... well, evidence of something. Potential new party slogan: "When there's a runoff in a district still recovering from a hurricane, with really low turnout, and the Democrat is under indictment, and no one is paying attention, we can win!"
Posted at 8:11 AM ET on Dec 9, 2008
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