File under "We are not reassured".
First, Bloomberg.com reports that Whitacre Vows to ‘Learn About Cars’ as Chairman of New GM Board. To wit:
Edward E. Whitacre Jr. built AT&T Inc. into the biggest U.S. provider of telephone service over a 43-year-career. By his own admission, he becomes chairman of General Motors Corp. knowing nothing about the auto industry. . .
“I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”
This is a sort of yin to the yang described by the New York Times in The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M. (click through the ad after clicking on the link):
It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.
But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry. . .
“There was a time between Nov. 4 and mid-February when I was the only full-time member of the auto task force,” Mr. Deese, a special assistant to the president for economic policy, acknowledged recently as he hurried between his desk at the White House and the Treasury building next door. “It was a little scary.”
But now, according to those who joined him in the middle of his crash course about the automakers’ downward spiral, he has emerged as one of the most influential voices in what may become President Obama’s biggest experiment yet in federal economic intervention.
While far more prominent members of the administration are making the big decisions about Detroit, it is Mr. Deese who is often narrowing their options.
All this happening under the direction of a new President with less executive experience than any President since . . . forever?
The time for slogans is long past. It is time for competence.
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