Mitt Romney for Car Czar?
One of the ideas floating around as part of any Congressionally approved Big Three automaker bailout is a "Car Czar" -- one person, appointed by the federal government, who would oversee GM, Ford and Chrysler and who may have the authority to impose new wage structures, management strategy and so forth.
Or maybe not. The Czar's duties are so far vague.
Democrats are pushing former Fed Reserve chair Paul Volcker to be Car Czar, but the 81-year-old is already heading President-elect Obama's economic advisory team.
But one name being put forward by others is former Mass. Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
It's an interesting idea. Romney has autos in his DNA -- his father, George Romney, was chairman of American Motors Corporation from 1954-62.
And Mitt Romney is co-founder of Bain Capital private-equity fund, so he also has finance in his bloodstream.
Romney was asked by Fox News's Greta Van Susteren last night if he'd like to be Car Czar.
"You know, I don't think anybody would pine for that job," Romney said. "There are a lot of people who I think would do an effective job in carrying out a leadership role to help restructure the auto industry, but I don't think anybody's asking for that job. I don't know that anyone has been asked."
AMC was the last viable fourth U.S. automaker, formed by the 1954 merger of the Hudson Motor Car Co. and Nash-Kelvinator (which sounds more like a blender than a car company).
AMC was purchased by Chrysler in 1987 and ceased to exist as a standalone company.
It's not Mitt Romney's fault, but AMC, in its later years, cranked out some of the silliest U.S. cars ever made, many of which became punchlines, including the greenhouse-looking Pacer, the bug-eyed Matador and the just-plain-awful Gremlin, which came in purple. (Side note: AMC seemed to have a love affair with brown, beige and tan vehicles. Good color for luggage, bad for cars.)
December 12, 2008; 11:30 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mitt Romney, automakers
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