The Campaign Spot

When In Doubt, Call For a New Czar With Cabinet-Level Status

Looking over Senator Clinton’s Katrina rebuilding proposals, I noticed she would “take the federal rebuilding coordinator out of the Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy and put him in the West Wing, reporting directly to the president.” Separately, she also called for re-elevating FEMA to cabinet-level status.

When the Bush administration created the position of “war czar,” they rightfully faced skepticism that the new position would do much beyond create an additional layer of bureaucracy. Beyond that, one wondered, “hey, wouldn’t running the war fit into the duties of the Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser?” Don’t we already have positions that should include these duties?
But it seems like when an elected official gets stuck, one of the easiest solutions is to call for a new position.
John Edwards wants a Cabinet-level post to fight global poverty. There’s been a call for a Federal Privacy Czar, and when we weren’t looking, the federal government established a health information czar, as well as a food czar, dealing with the tainted Chinese imports. You have probably heard of our drug czar, but maybe not our copyright enforcement czar. We have a tough time keeping a cybersecurity czar for more than a few months.
The Onion had a recommendation.

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