Five Possibilities For National "Car Czar"

An agreement on the shape of a rescue plan for the not-so-Big Three automakers appears close. Included in oversight will be a federal "car czar" to oversee the rescue package. Here's a look at five possibilities for the position.

5.) Lee Iacocca

• He found a way to make Chrysler relevant
• He's friends with Snoop Dogg
• He created the Eagle brand
• Somehow he couldn't find a better car to buy despite a plethora of available options

4.) Steve Jobs

• Turned around Apple almost magically
• True digital iPod connectivity in every vehicle would become mandated
• He knows nothing about the auto industry
• Thomas Friedman thinks the world of him
• He's already got a job


3.) Katsuaki "Ken" Watanabe

• CEO of Toyota Motor Company — why not just go with a winner
• Sings in a men's chorus
• He's not a U.S. citizen
• As head of the Toyota Motor Company he sort of has a stake in seeing the not-so-Big Three sell less cars

2.) Mitt Romney

• He has investment, executive and government experience
• Possesses a familiarity with both Detroit and public-private partnerships (SLC Olympics)
• May actually oppose the bailout
• If he takes the position it either makes it better for him in 2012, which Democrats won't support, or it makes him worse off for 2012, which he won't support

1.) Jack Welch

• He squeezes so much out of his employees' mind grapes they named the juice after him
• Six Sigma — a master of the way to turn any company into an uber-efficient powerhouse
• Six Sigma — a program of turning legitimate, intelligent engineers into pedantic assholes
• His Six Sigma protege, Bob "The Builder" Nardelli isn't doing too well over at Chrysler


Though we like the idea of a magical Car Czar that can come in and fix the industry, the real purpose of the Car Czar will be to supervise the distribution of funds, meaning it'll likely be someone who has legal experience and a knowledge of handing out government money. Since the position is designated by President Bush, it could be someone he's tapped before. The early guess: Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer from D.C. responsible for overseeing the federal Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund.