Overhaul: A Must Read

Marcus Baram at Huffington Post has an extensive discussion of the forthcoming book by Obama’s former auto industry czar Steven Rattner, Overhaul.  The book, due to be released in October, should be quite interesting insofar as it provides some accounts of the administration’s internal dynamics.

President Obama does not come off to well, asking insightful questions like: “Why can’t they make a Corolla?” when first confronting the problems in the auto industry and refusing to coordinate actions with the outgoing Bush administration. In Rattner’s words: “if his team had linked arms with the outgoing administration, as President Bush’s advisers had proposed, billions of dollars could well have been saved.”

Rahm Emanuel does not come off too well either. He is portrayed as dictating much of what went on at Treasury:

“And Rahm never hesitated to seize command, as he did after Tim’s rocky start as Treasury Secretary — Rahm had stepped in and effectively started supervising Tim on a daily basis. Such aggressiveness is fine when all is going well, but it breeds resentment that can turn into sniping when the tide recedes, as it did briefly for Rahm in early 2010 when health care reform bogged down.”

And the following may not prove endearing to the union leaders who placed so much faith in the new administration (remember card check?):

Emanuel could also be spectacularly blunt, once telling Rattner during a meeting about GM and Chrysler’s massive problems and potential bankruptcies: “Why even save GM?” When Rattner adviser Ron Bloom noted that tens of thousands of autoworker jobs were at stake, Emanuel huffed, “F*ck the UAW,” referring to the United Auto Workers union.

Overhaul sounds like a must read. Until its release, go to Baram’s piece and enjoy the excerpts. I am sure UAW President Bob King will be enjoying them.

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