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Pundits & Editorials

Commentators dub Obama 'Car Dealer In Chief' and push for the automakers' Chapter 11 filings. Plus: Dmitry Medvedev on Russian-U.S. relations.

• "The White House was aiming high with yesterday's announcement that President Obama was pretty much becoming CEO of the American automotive industry," Dana Milbank writes.

• "We heard more realism from Mr. Obama yesterday than we've heard from Detroit in years," observes Paul Ingrassia, Detroit bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal.


• The Los Angeles Times is "troubled by the shift in administration policy, which is just the latest in a series of oscillations in Washington's rescue efforts" of the auto industry.

• "While the president said repeatedly that he 'has no interest' in running a car company, he appears to be very much running GM," the Detroit News scoffs.

• "The government's new, forceful stance is more likely to produce a meaningful overhaul of the car industry," the New York Times asserts.


• "Bankruptcy acknowledges a reality -- GM and Chrysler are broke." Richard Cohen wishes "them luck -- but no more of my money."

• "Bankruptcy is not the unthinkable outcome described by a defiant [outgoing GM CEO Rick] Wagoner last fall, but a potentially valuable tool for salvaging parts of the U.S. auto industry," USA Today maintains.

• "Managed bankruptcy is not the solution to the domestic auto industry's problems," Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., counters in an opposing view.

• "Obama is better off planning how to let GM and Chrysler sink in a manner that does not suck down the overall economy," Derrick Z. Jackson opines.


• The Washington Post explains that the administration has a "delicate task" ahead with the automakers: allowing the companies' CEOs to make their own decisions while also holding them accountable.

• "Obama's industrial policy vision runs directly counter to a strategy that would get the companies back to profitability as soon as possible," the Wall Street Journal argues.

• "By enmeshing the White House so deeply into G.M., Obama has increased the odds that March's menacing threat will lead to June's wobbly wiggle-out," David Brooks warns.

• "Having the Obama administration determining GM's CEO and micromanaging Chrysler's merger talks with Fiat, [we] are placing a big bet that politicians can do what decades of professional managers have failed to do," the Washington Times cautions.

Eugene Robinson contends that it's the banks -- not the automakers -- that Obama should be tougher on.

Detroit News' Daniel Howes thinks that Obama's ousting of Wagoner should send a "chilly message" to any company the government has a hand in.

William McGurn points out that it's not just families in Michigan and Ohio who will be affected by the government's intervention in the auto industry.

• In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Christopher P. Borick, director of the Institute of Political Opinion at Muhlenberg College, draws parallels between the upcoming re-election bid of Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and that of Sen. Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., in 2006.

• "The administration has all but given up even the pretense of bipartisanship," John Dickerson declares.

Jonah Goldberg believes that the administration is promoting a double standard by constitutionally protecting porn on the one hand and pushing to ban "partisan advocacy" on the other.

Tony Blankley reviews the "spectacularly well-timed and vital new book," "Liberty and Tyranny," by Mark Levin.

• "What is big, loud, unnecessary and costs $75 million? No, not a retired elephant in a diamond-studded dress: The answer is, of course, a Group of 20 summit," Anne Applebaum quips.

• Predicting that European leaders will give Obama a chilly reception at the G-20 meeting, Gideon Rachman contends that "Europe's grudging attitude to the new president is not only discourteous. It is unwise and self-defeating."

• In the Washington Post, Russian President Dmitry A. Medvedev discusses the relationship his country has with the U.S.

• In the Los Angeles Times, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, presidential adviser for press affairs to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, responds to Obama's March 20 video message to the country.

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