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Who will sit in the Car Czar’s chair?


Democratic lawmakers and the White House are finalizing a $15 billion bailout for the crumbling U.S. auto industry. One of the key elements will likely be the naming of a federal official to lord over the industry. The job won’t be an easy one. Reuters points out the “Car Czar” will have to deal with angry creditors, fearful suppliers and an entrenched auto union. Then there’s the job of motivating CEOs who will be making a whopping $1 a year (yes, $1 – that’s not a typo).

“It requires someone who knows how to lead and someone who knows how to listen,” said Harley Shaiken, a labor law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Shaiken suggested former Congressman David Bonior, who also managed the presidential campaign of John Edwards. Other names being floated include Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric. How about Warren Buffett? He’s made oodles of money and seems like a fun guy. Or John McCain – sure he’s still a senator but he did come “this” close to being president and maybe he’d bring Sarah Palin in to handle the day-to-day details. That would certainly be good for Tina Fey and Saturday Night Live.

But what do you think? Who should get the job and why?