So Which Is It, Politico?
May 25, 2012
Politico went big with one of its conventional wisdom-setting 30,000-foot pieces today: “Obama Stumbles Out of The Gate.” As typical for this form, the piece is full of sniping quotes from anonymous consultants. The piece also manages to turn a smattering of voices speaking out against Obama’s anti-Bain Capital attacks—most notably Cory Booker, mayor of the 68th biggest city in the country—into a “Democratic blowback” against Obama. But what struck me most about it was its glaring internal contradiction. First, the article gives us this: Bain has turned into pain this week.
In Defense of Our Divisive, Parochial, and Petty Congress
October 13, 2010
Another terrific Ezra Klein interview, this time of former car czar Steve Rattner (and again: Ezra Klein’s interviews are one of the very best things on these intertubes. Consistently substantive, interesting...excellent). Rattner doesn’t like Congress. At all. That’s not surprising. First of all, because no one likes Congress. But, in this particular case, because of course a technocrat hired by the executive branch to solve a national problem is going to find Congressional meddling obnoxious.
Meet the White House Manufacturing Czar
December 07, 2009
I just wanted to highlight my latest print piece for readers who come straight to this blog rather than clicking through from the homepage. It's about White House manufacturing czar Ron Bloom, a longtime steelworkers union official and an investment banker before that. Just prior to his current gig, Bloom led the administration's restructuring of Chrysler as a deputy to Steve Rattner, then head of the auto task force. There are details in the piece more relevant to Bloom's current job and the future of U.S.
December 07, 2009
A few weeks after the 2008 presidential election, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard got a call from an Obama transition aide frantic for advice on the collapsing auto industry. Gerard put his numbers guy on the call, a former investment banker named Ron Bloom, who proceeded to offer a detailed disquisition on the financial situations of GM and Chrysler. Unlike other experts the transition team had consulted, Bloom was refreshingly blunt about the companies’ prospects, which he deemed grim.
GM's CEO Resigns--Could That Be a Good Sign?
December 01, 2009
It looks like Fritz Henderson, who only took over as GM's CEO back in March, has been forced out by the company's board. From the Times: General Motors said Tuesday that its chief executive, Fritz Henderson, was resigning and would be succeeded on an interim basis by the automaker’s new chairman, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. ... Mr. Henderson became chief of G.M. after the previous chief executive, Rick Wagoner, was asked to resign in March by President Obama’s auto task force. But in a sign that the company’s board is dissatisfied with G.M.’s progress, Mr.
GM's Ex-CEO: Worse Than You Thought
October 21, 2009
If you've been following the trials of the auto industry this last year, then you already know GM's management team, led by former CEO Rick Wagoner, left a lot to be desired. But, even so, Wagoner comes off as unbelievably lame in Steve Rattner's account of his time as Obama's auto guru. To wit: At GM's Renaissance Center headquarters, the top brass were sequestered on the uppermost floor, behind locked and guarded glass doors.
Rattner Hoisted On His Own Petard
April 24, 2009
Edward Jay Epstein is onto this story, and that is bad news for Steve Rattner. The Times and the Wall Street Journal also know a rotten tale when they see one. And, if Rattner tries to wave it away as a matter of no consequence, he will being getting himself deeper and deeper into the ethical quicksand. Is The Car Czar Due For A Recall?By Edward Jay Epstein"It is unacceptable that a placement agent have any influence in the investments of the state pension fund," New York Governor David A.
August 30, 2004
Snuffle. Snuffle. Snuffle. The little black nose is cold and wet on my arm. "Gracie, stop that!" media writer Michael Wolff scolds the small, spastic spaniel wriggling next to me on the sofa. Gracie tumbles to the floor, but Trixie the cat soon takes her place and delivers an exploratory head butt. "No. No. No. Come on," says an embarrassed Wolff, leaning out of his high-backed red chair and waving an arm. Wolff and I are seated in the living room of his comfy Upper East Side home.