WASHINGTON —President Obama announced on Friday the creation of a “Czar czar” to oversee the officials he has appointed as czars since taking office. “There are so many people running around the White House who have not gone through any vetting whatsoever that I think it’s important for me to appoint a czar just to keep track of them.”
If only. The president did appoint yet another czar today – a “Cyber Czar” that would somehow protect America’s computer networks. According to David J. Rothkopf of Foreign Policy, this would make the 19th czar position.
In addition to (Border Czar Alan) Bersin, we have energy czar Carol Browner, urban czar Adolfo Carrion, Jr., infotech czar Vivek Kundra, faith-based czar Joshua DuBois, health reform czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, new TARP czar Herb Allison, stimulus accountability czar Earl Devaney, non-proliferation czar Gary Samore, terrorism czar John Brennan, regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, and Guantanamo closure czar Daniel Fried. We also have a host of special envoys that fall into the czar category including AfPak special envoy Richard Holbrooke, Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell, special advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia Dennis Ross, Sudan special envoy J. Scott Gration and climate special envoy Todd Stern.
At this rate the Obama Administration will have 228 czars running around by the end of his first term – so maybe my idea isn’t as far fetched as it seems.
UPDATE: On June 5, 2009 he announced the 20th “Pay Czar“.
UPDATE: July 15, 2009 Fox News reports Obama has as many as 36 czars. Some even estimate 100. The Car Czar has quit though because he’s under investigation a pay-to-play scandal in New York. Will the car industry survive the departure? Only time will tell.