Ron Bloom’s promotion


Car czar Ron Bloom — the onetime Habonim summer camper who was profiled by Rachel Tepper last month — now has a bigger portfolio. He’s the Obama adminstration senior counselor for manufacturing policy. From the White House’s release announcing the move:

Working closely with the National Economic Council, Bloom will provide leadership on policy development and strategic planning for the President’s agenda to revitalize the manufacturing sector.  He will work with departments and agencies across the administration – including the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Energy, and Labor – to integrate existing programs and develop new initiatives affecting the manufacturing sector. 

Bloom will retain his role as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury assigned to the President’s Task Force on the Automotive Industry.

This article from The Hill notes that Bloom could have significant influence over domestic policy in his new post:

Bloom’s background and new position differs from the two czars who served under President George W. Bush. Bloom is a former union official and remains close to leaders in organized labor. His two predecessors were businessmen.

Bush’s manufacturing czars also were placed in the Commerce Department, where they were considered to have little sway in the administration.

Bloom, on the other hand, was entrusted with a high-profile presidential task force on autos and will operate within an office that has broad authority over domestic policy.

Bloom already has a few wins under his belt, which should further serve to increase his influence. He was a fierce advocate of the “cash for clunkers” program — which offered consumers subsidies for trading in gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles. And he gets kudos for quickly steering General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy as the auto task force chief. 

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