Don't let it get away!
Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.
Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.
Congress and the White House continue to work on a bailout for the "Big Three" U.S. automakers -- Ford (NYSE: F ) , General Motors (NYSE: GM ) , and Chrysler. Since one of the components of the financial rescue package is a newly appointed "Car Czar" to oversee the bailout process, we thought it would be a good time to review some of the frequently mentioned candidates for the job and assess their strengths and weaknesses for the position.
Pros: Current two-term governor of Michigan.
Cons: Popular female governors who were beauty pageant contestants when they were younger don't exactly have the greatest track record in 2008.
Pros: Respected former Democratic House whip from Michigan.
Cons: Whipping assembly-line workers not allowed under recent labor agreement; whipping auto executives, an idea that's rapidly gaining national support, not yet legal.
Pros: Experienced businessman; successful politician; perfect head of hair.
Cons: Hair too perfect. Most likely part of a costume to disguise long-suspected fact that he is a robot. Robots have eliminated enough Detroit jobs already.
Pros: Illinois governor has demonstrated an uncanny appetite for cutting deals; likely to be freed of current responsibilities very soon.
Cons: "Car Czar" required to show up for work. Cannot telecommute from prison.
Pros: Beloved car-industry exec from era when bailouts worked; can do his own TV commercials.
Cons: Iacocca's former trademark commercial pitch line -- "If you can find a better car, buy it!" -- seems to have resonated a little too deeply with the American public.
Pros: Ran General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , the largest, most successful company in the history of anything, anywhere.
Cons: Difficult for Welch to self-righteously bring the hammer down on auto execs' perks, given his GE CEO perk list of a luxury Manhattan apartment, private fleet of space shuttles, electronic vibrating giraffe polishers, and fresh panda-meat kabobs.
Pros: Demonstrated master of the governmental "tough love" approach; knows how to fix a problem and not be cowed by political concerns.
Cons: At 6-foot-7, unlikely to support the midget Pintos and micro-mini-Coopers seemingly mandated by incoming administration.
Pros: Box-office gold; handy in a car chase; could help David Bonior out with whipping technique.
Cons: Last name creates hesitancy about bias against GM and Chrysler.
Pros: Detroit native, daughter of a GM design engineer; possesses bottom-line business focus that we are living in a material world.
Cons: Loves Detroit so much that she lives in London. Candidacy already denounced by pope, people with taste.
Herbie, the Love Bug
Pros: Disney-created anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle has the kind of charming personality necessary for a job that requires dealing with opposing groups.
Richard "the King" Petty
Pros: Seven-time NASCAR champion. Awarded Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush.
Cons: Under ancient established monarchy rules, kings cannot also be czars.
Don LaFontaine, the "In a World" Movie Preview Voiceover Guy
Pros: "In a world … where no U.S. auto companies could figure out a viable business strategy … one man emerged … with a plan to rescue us all … from a fate worse than death."
Cons: Died earlier this year.
T. Boone Pickens
Pros: Billionaire businessman has plans for a car that runs on wind power.
Cons: Them plans is plum crazy.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the NPR Car Talk Guys
Pros: Familiarity with car troubles; good senses of humor; experience at National Public Radio, which, like the domestic auto industry, is a nonprofit enterprise.
Czar Nicholas II
Pros: Has the whole "Czar thing" down pat.
Cons: Doesn't know a thing about cars. Go-to solution of beheading troublesome working class worked better in 19th-century Russia than in modern-day United States.
Pros: Comes with a far cooler nickname than the insipid "Car Czar."
Cons: Inexplicable tendency to throw races calls probity into question. Difficult to sustain masked-man disguise federally in a post-9/11 world.
Pros: Can perform Jedi mind trick on union executives and recalcitrant Republican Senate bailout opponents.
Cons: Management style includes demanding that everyone at GM's Hamtramck assembly plant practice assembling cars blindfolded, with good results to be expected.
Pros: Experience as federal highway officer; skilled driver; handy with chainsaw; looks great in black.
Cons: We don't need another hero.
The Ghost of Christmas Future
Pros: Silent hooded figure has more than 150 years' experience in delivering bad news; calm demeanor.
Cons: Insistence on spelling the word "Tsar" probably a dealbreaker; British.
Pros: Has experience in cleaning up Detroit. Programmed to protect and serve. Incorruptible. Drives the sweet, futuristic "6000 SUX."
Cons: Excessively violent, even for a federal law-enforcement official. Robotic speech pattern will make for awkward moments when testifying during confirmation hearings.
For related Foolishness:
Lighten up, Fool! This is satire!