Obama's Auto-CratsPresident Obama's auto industry task force doesn't have to travel farther than its own parking lot to find out why Detroit is flirting with disaster.
Among the eight members named last Friday to Obama's auto team, as well as the 10 senior policy aides charged with assisting their efforts, only two reportedly own vehicles made by American manufacturers, according to the Detroit News.
The newspaper reviewed public records to learn the makes and models of the cars driven by the task force and its staff members. There are still two open positions on the 10-member task force that will be filled by the secretaries of labor and commerce, who have not yet been confirmed.
The auto task force is meeting this week with representatives from GM (GM) and Chrysler to discuss their viability plans.The co-chairs of the task force -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Lawrence Summers, the White House National Economic Council director -- both own foreign automobiles. Geithner owns a 2008 Acura TSX, registered in New York. Summers sports a 1995 Mazda Protege that is registered in Massachusetts. Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag owns a 2008 Honda (HMC) Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson owns a Honda Odyssey minivan and a 2008 Toyota (TM) Prius. ("It's great," Jackson said of her Prius, to the Detroit News.) Neither Carol Browner, the White House climate czar, nor Energy Secretary Steven Chu own a car. And information as to the rides of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or Christine Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers, was not available. As for the commander in chief, he traded in his Chrysler 300C for a more fuel-efficient Ford (F) Escape hybrid during the 2008 presidential campaign. President Obama did not, however, drive his Ford north to Ottawa last week, preferring to take his first international trip on Air Force One. The president traveled to Canada to reassure Prime Minister Stephen Harper that a "Buy American" clause in his new economic stimulus law would not harm trade between the two allies. We say don't drive yourself to distraction, prime minister. Obama's auto team doesn't seem too worried about buying American. Why should you? Dumb-o-meter score: 95 -- D.C. Bumper Sticker: My Other Car Is Not From Detroit.
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