Do Obama’s czars rule America? ‘Oil czar’ Ray Mabus brings total to 38 according to Daily Caller count

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Nearly two months after the BP oil spill, President Obama tapped secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to oversee recovery efforts in the Gulf. Since dubbed the “oil czar” in the press, Obama described Mabus’s new role during an Oval office address to the nation on Tuesday night.

With Obama nominating yet another “czar,” The Daily Caller has attempted to calculate how many the president has appointed so far. Czar is an unofficial term, so the tally is necessarily inexact. Groups attempting to calculate a total reach up to 45. In August 2009 Glenn Beck released his count of 32 czars and in October Judicial Watch released their number of 39. The Daily Caller’s list of 38 is below.

The press began labeling certain high-level executive officials “czars” during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. Since entering office, Obama has fielded criticism from both sides of the aisle on his cadre of czars.

Sen. Robert Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, has complained of Obama’s widespread use of “czars” in the past. With regard to Mabus, however, Byrd’s spokesman, Jesse Jacobs told The Daily Caller, “As long as he keeps the Congress fully and currently informed about his activities, and testifies before Congress when asked, his being called a ‘czar’ by the media and bloggers is more sophistry than anything else.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, has also spoken out against the president’s profligate use of “czars.” Still, the senator is supporting the president in his efforts to clean up the Gulf. Alexander told The Daily Caller: “While that spill is still going on, I want to support the president in doing whatever he thinks he needs to do to stop the spill and clean it up. At a later time, we can look … at the adequacy of the president’s response, and whether we need a different set of regulations and structures for any future spills.”

Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, said of Obama’s appointment of a new “czar”: “I doubt very much that it will improve his numbers. It can’t hurt, however, because he is appearing assertive.”

Conservative bloggers and columnists have not been quiet about their disapproval of the new oil czar. Pundit Michelle Malkin, for example, wrote on June 16, “Too many czars have already spoiled this administration’s credibility. Might as well pile on another.”

Obama’s czars (*indicates individuals confirmed by Congress):

  1. Afghanistan czar: Richard Holbrooke
  2. Auto recovery czar: Steve Rattner (resigned); post previously held by Ed Montgomery (resigned)
  3. California water czar: David J. Hayes*
  4. Car czar: Ron Bloom
  5. Domestic violence czar: Lynn Rosenthal
  6. Energy and environment czar: Carol Browner
  7. Government performance czar: Jeffrey Zients
  8. Great Lakes czar: Cameron Davis
  9. Green jobs czar: Van Jones (resigned)
  10. Guantanamo closure czar: Daniel Fried
  11. Information Czar: Vivek Kundra
  12. Iran czar: Dennis Ross
  13. Mideast peace czar: George Mitchell
  14. Pay czar: Kenneth R. Feinberg
  15. Performance czar: Jeffrey Zients
  16. Science czar: John Holdren*
  17. Safe school czar: Kevin Jennings
  18. Stimulus accountability czar: Earl Devaney
  19. Sudan czar: J. Scott Gration
  20. TARP czar: Herb Allison*
  21. Technology czar: Aneesh Chopra*
  22. Terrorism czar: John Brennan
  23. Urban affairs czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.
  24. Weapons czar: Ashton Carter*
  25. WMD policy czar: Gary Samore
  26. AIDS czar: Jeffrey Crowley
  27. Border czar: Alan Bersin
  28. Climate czar: Todd Stern
  29. Cyber-security czar: Melissa Hathaway; post previously held by Howard Schmidt
  30. Drug czar: Gil Kerlikowske*
  31. Economic czar: Paul Volcker
  32. Faith-based czar: Joshua DuBois
  33. Health czar: Nancy-Ann DeParl
  34. Manufacturing czar: Ron Bloom
  35. Intelligence czar: Dennis Blair*
  36. Regulatory czar: Cass R. Sunstein*
  37. War czar: Douglas Lute
  38. Oil czar: Ray Mabus