Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Should Obama ask Mitt Romney to Run GM?

Marc Ambinder poses the question should Obama install Mitt Romney as GM's chairman. Obama has said

The government can't hope to fix G.M. and sell it off without getting under the hood. Over decades now of restructuring plans at the company, two things have demonstrably not helped get much done: Money and time. The government can't simply give more of each to the automaker. What's needed is forceful, even ruthless, leadership to insist on the changes that everyone--the managers, the union leadership, the dealers, everyone--has known were necessary for about 20 years now.[...]
Here's a modest proposal to drive things along: Obama should install Mitt Romney as GM's chairman. Romney grew up outside Detroit and around cars; his father, George W. Romney, saved American Motors from collapse in the 1950s--by killing failing brands and focusing on compact cars! George Romney successfully took on the Big Three with a "dinosaur fighter" strategy. The son would bring to GM that legacy, the turnaround expertise and credentials he developed at Bain & Company, and the outsider's eye that GM desperately needs. He would also usefully jack up even further the stakes and the drama of the undertaking.

And he would create a political firewall for the turnaround. An alliance with Romney to save GM would give Obama and Henderson the protection they need to move briskly to shrink the company. Why would Romney do it? Maybe because the chance to renew an American icon, preserve America's manufacturing capacity, and save tens of thousands of jobs would mean something to him. Maybe because it would give him a platform to demonstrate what an effective leader he can be. Maybe because, along the way, it would allow him to save the Republican Party by proving that it stands for something besides...whatever it is that it stands for right now.
It would be a win for Romney because if he leads GM back he would be a top candidate in 2016. It would be a win for Obama cause it shows his bipartisan approach and would patch over a possible issue in 2012.

With all that said, it probably would never happen because it makes sense.

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