Sometimes a Crackpot Notion: Mitt Romney for CEO of General Motors?

by |
11/20/2008 5:00 PM |

I would be for this, mostly because I look forward to many happy photographs of Dear Willard touring auto plants in comical protective goggles. But there we are, already ahead of ourselves. So.

In yesterday’s Times, Mittens wrote an Op-ed that was all like my dad turned around the auto industry once and thus you all should have voted for me; also the only way to save the American auto industry is to let it go bankrupt — more flexibility to restart and re-envision a failed industry.

This is something people keep saying as a reason to oppose a bailout of failed American city Detroit, Michigan. But there are two problems with this (keep in mind here that I am actually a tenured professor of the London School of Economics, spending my sabbatical as an alt-weekly film editor in Brooklyn), namely that the purpose of an auto industry bailout would be mostly just to save the literally last manufacturing jobs in America at a time when we can ill afford a quarter of a million newly unemployed; and that, as Slate’s Daniel Gross explains better than I can, the credit lines that would make bankruptcy a viable corporate option simply aren’t there right now. (And, as James Surowiecki points out, a GM bankruptcy would further ravage the stock markets this bailout is supposed to be propping up.)

But you know what, Mittens, whatever. You think “new faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations,” for the new management ranks of the auto industry. Faces like… your dad’s. You are basically just using the Times Op-ed page to bat your eyelashes at Detroit, which is gross, but you seem to fancy yourself quite the corporate takeover/turnaround/salvation artist because of that whole Olympics thing, so, you know what, go for it. This is not a fun job you seem to want, and far be it from me to begrudge you another hugely public ego trip turned costly comical fiasco. And frankly, you will probably not be worse at running than American auto industry than the people currently running the American auto industry. You seem to be incredibly wealthy, like even wealthier than somebody who was born already being incredibly wealthy could reasonably expect to become just by turning 21 and then not lighting too many cigars with flame-engulfed Treasury bonds, so I allow that you are perhaps a competent, even gifted maker of ca$h money.

And maybe the Republican party — which seems desperate to free itself from the chokehold of the rabid social conservatives who all hate you — will finally take you seriously?

Ha, that would be hilarious, if anybody in America took Mitt Romney seriously.