By Chris Stirewalt, ,
Published December 23, 2015
Former Obama administration car czar Steven Rattner is coming out with a new book that depicts him swashbuckling through the financial crisis and also shows Obama as "out to get" the car companies and the administration making political decisions about how to deal with bankrupt automakers GM and Chrysler.
Rattner, a former New York Times reporter in Washington, made a mint as a hedge funder, became a massive Democratic donor and returned to D.C. as Obama's point man during the bailout and takeover of GM and Chrysler. He's since been ensnared in a SEC investigation into his firm's efforts to leverage political influence and favors to win government investment deals.
But Rattner's working on his image. He signed up Obama golf partner and billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a client and now is launching his book "Overhaul" about his time in the administration.
The Huffington Post got a leaked copy and there is plenty there that will play into this years' elections - especially since this is the first kiss-and-tell book from the Obama team.
Key points from the article and excerpts:
-When Obama was told of the plan to pay GM CEO Rick Wagoner a $7.1 million severance package after Obama ordered that he be sacked, Rattner writes: "Suddenly I felt that I was indeed in the presence of a community organizer..."
-Rattner describes presidential political adviser David Axelrod coming to car meetings armed with poll data to support the takeover and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel identify Congressmen in whose districts large Chrysler facilities were located.
-"[Obama's economic team] veered dangerously close to having the government take control of the two most troubled banks, Bank of America and Citigroup."
-"If his team had linked arms with the outgoing administration, as President Bush's advisers had proposed, billions of dollars could well have been saved."
-Rattner says Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual dictated Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's schedule, public appearances and staff selections.
-Rattner said Obama was frustrated with the auto companies from the start: "Why can't they make a Corolla?" he has Obama asking.