Image via Capital Research
Looks like the Car Czar that Obama was planning to appoint to oversee the ailing auto industry is out—and a new Presidential Task Force led by the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in. What? There's going to be no Russian emperor-styled authority figure that will singlehandedly fix all of Detroit's many, many woes?
What is Obama thinking? Perhaps that appointing an automobile monarch would serve as more symbol than substance—and that he may have genuine hopes for salvaging the future of the beleaguered auto industry.
As Time points out, appointing czars is often a move presidents make to ensure the public that they think an issue is Important, without having any semblance of a substantive solution ready. So,
Instead of creating a post with a big title and vague powers to deal with the problem, the elected President and his ample bureaucracy will decide what's next for the cash-strapped industry.
And it's not that Obama's against anachronistically titled posts—he's announced plans for naming plenty of czars, including potentially Al Gore as climate czar (though Al's not interested). No, maybe it means that Obama's administration may be seeking to have more of a hands-on approach to tackling the gigantic problems that loom in Detroit. Which could be a good thing—Obama has already shown he at least recognizes the need for making industry more progressive in his green-leaning stimulus bill. Or maybe Obama has some big green plans for Detroit, and a car czar would just get in the way. Maybe he'll force GM to begin manufacturing only hybrids and electric cars from now on.
Or, maybe the Car Czar that Obama was going to appoint just had some issues with his back taxes.