Some Question Whether Obama Has Too Many 'Czars'

President Obama gave his so-called "czars" responsibilities that might have been divided among different Cabinet secretaries in past administrations.

But by some accounts, Obama has nearly three dozen czars in his administration, managing everything from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to ending the genocide in Darfur.

Obama has pledged his full support to all of them. But when you add his 15 Cabinet secretaries to his policy and political advisors and his chief of staff and throw in his military advisors and a couple dozen selected other officials, that equals a lot of officials who have Oval Office walk-in rights.

"I think the number probably is getting closer to a 100," said James Bailey, a leadership professor at George Washington University, who noted that's not the norm at most Fortune 500 companies.

"Most CEOs have about seven to 10 people reporting to them," he said, adding that Obama has perhaps 100 people reporting to him.

"Can they reasonably and responsibly state up with all of the elements that are required to execute their job responsibly," he said.

And yet all modern presidents have had more than a handful of people reporting to them.

Jimmy Carter personally controlled access to the White House tennis court.

The first President Bush, who was big on delegating responsibility, by most accounts had the fewest number of czars.

His son, who called himself "the decider," had the second highest number.

Still Obama's nearly three dozen czars probably don't all have Oval office walk-in rights, said John Kamensky of IBM's Business of Government.

"The questions is how many people actually report to him and my guess is it's far fewer," he said. "He does have a chief of staff."

In fact, the vast majority of Obama's czar's technically report to one of his Cabinet secretaries or to Vice President Biden, which raises another question.

"Who is minding all the czars?" asked presidential scholar Marth Kumar. "Is there a template for how they produce information and how they then provide it to the White House?"

Even if the president is able to manage his czars efficiently, some of his critics are frustrated because the czars don't have to answer to Congress.