‘I hope you know what you’re doing’

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

Ariana Eunjung Cha
The Washington Post
9/3/2010

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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