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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.)

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 12, 2008; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mitt Romney, automakers  
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Mitt Romney should have been the one we elected in 2008.

He was by far the most qualified.

However the liberal fascists that run most of our corrupt press didn't like him.

So they wrote lying slanderous stories on him.........kinda like what they been doing to Bush for the past eight years..........crimminals, our press corps

Posted by: allenridge | December 12, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

that's funny, Allen. b/c what i remember is it was the Christian right spreading rumors that Mormonism was a "cult" and Romney, being the savvy businessman that he is, didn't want to throw good money after bad and continue a losing race trying to win over a base made up of religious zealots.

btw, Romney would make an excellent Car Czar. his first day on the job would something like this: "these companies have no viable business model and no exit strategy for paying off the $15 billion bailout so we're consolidating operations, moving south, and hiring $20/hour employees in a right-to-work state."

Posted by: millionea7 | December 12, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is the worst person possible for this position. First, he has ZERO personal experience in the auto industry, having never worked so much as one hour in an auto company. The track record of Bain in restructuring is atrocious as it pertains to retirees and hourly workers. His column in NYT a few weeks ago hammered the need to 'get at' legacy costs: pensions and retiree health care benefits. People who worked their whole lives to build cars while building a middle class in the US, would be placed at risk in their final years.

No car czar is necessary at all. Let these guys figure out the solutions themselves. We don't need a Mormom Hitler.

Posted by: LeftGuy | December 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Mitt "let them fail" Romney? you republicans are a scream!

Posted by: obrier2 | December 12, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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