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Do We Need a Czar Czar? Obama Taps Eighth Policy Czar


Every president needs a drug czar, right? That's what the Obama administration must think, as it nominated Seattle's police chief to the position of drug czar, bringing the total number of czars to eight. That's the biggest team of czars ever to work for an American president.

R. Gil Kerlikowske will coordinate the US drug policy carried out by several federal agencies. What other policy aides share the title of Russian emperors gone by? Here's a rundown:

  • Energy and environment czar: Carol Browner
  • Health czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle
  • Urban affairs czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr
  • Economic czar: Paul A. Volcker
  • Regulatory czar: Cass R. Sunstein
  • Government performance czar: Unfilled since Nancy Killefer resigned

The anticzar crowd worries that too many amounts to a power grab by the executive branch, since czars don't need Senate approval. I say — let's make everyone an mini Russian emperor!

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