Car czar Steve Rattner leaves: High note or trouble ahead?


Steve Rattner, the Democratic Party fund raiser extraordinaire (with whom I have worked) will leave his job as car czar at a good time. When President Obama visits Martha's Vineyard this summer, Rattner will be able to entertain Obama at his 15,500 square foot estate there and not have to worry about sucking up to the boss -- because Rattner will be out of Washington. Rattner may be leaving because Tim Geithner is secure as Treasury Secretary -- a position Rattner would no doubt savor -- or it could be to take care of some legal problems.

Since Rattner announced he would join the administration in February, he's gotten credit for helping to bail out Chrysler and GM, both of which filed for bankruptcy and appear well on their way to some form of rebirth, depending on the skill of their new CEOs. But Ron Bloom, who will take over from Rattner, may have done much of the work. Lou Gerstner, the former CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), about whom I posted last week has criticized Rattner for his lack of industrial experience. I hope Gerstner ends up running GM.