Remember the war over czars? No, that’s not an obscure episode in Russian history. It was the outrage manufactured by conservative media figures in 2009 over the proliferation of policy “czars” in the Obama administration. Never mind, of course, that President George W. Bush had 35 czars compared to Obama’s 32.
One of the new czarships Obama actually did create was the “climate czar,” a post to which he appointed former EPA Administrator Carol Browner. (Her formal title was director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.) Glenn Beck, chief propagandist for the czar meme, was especially concerned by the creation of a “socialist” climate czar post.
Browner’s deputy, Heather Zichal, took over her responsibilities after Browner stepped down in 2011. But, as part of the April 2011 deal to avert a government shutdown, funding for the climate czar position was eliminated, so Zichal got no titular promotion. After almost five years in the White House, Zichal announced in October that she was leaving the administration. She's been replaced by her White House colleague Dan Utech.
The Obama administration has often delighted, and often disappointed, environmentalists. So how did Zichal herself perform?