‘I hope you know what you’re doing’

Car czar’s new tell-all book: Rahm curses UAW

Ariana Eunjung Cha
The Washington Post

Wall Street financier Steve Rattner’s new book, “Overhaul,” has some delicious details about internal discussions within the Obama Administration regarding the bailout of U.S. automakers:

Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, when reminded that tens of thousands of jobs are at stake, utters a common profanity expressing disdain for the United Auto Workers.

White House senior adviser Larry Summers is brilliant but imperious toward a dissenting economist, Austan Goolsbee, who dares to speak up at a meeting. Summers “explodes” and tells Goolsbee in the corridor: “You do not relitigate in front of the president!”

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), dejected about the possibility the automakers would have to file for bankruptcy, tells Obama in a voice barely above a whisper: “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

The best Obama line may be this one, as General Motors and Chrysler approached financial meltdown in November 2008: “Why can’t they make a Corolla?” he asked his advisers, according to the book. “We wish we knew,” his advisers reply.

For Peter Whoriskey’s full story about the book, click here.

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