The president paid a visit to his local auto show as part of his re-election campaign.
Although most journalists have never imagined that they'd get much of a story from the forsaken Washington D.C. Auto Show, President Barack Obama suddenly changed things as he dropped by two days ago for a visit. All of the new cars were already revealed at Detroit last month, however the President didn't seem to care. He took a lap of honor by visiting the displays of the Big Three American automakers, two of whom were bailed out by his administration.
He also checked out a few cars as if he was looking for something to replace his armored 'beast'. Although the administration is promoting green technology and frugal motoring, Obama wasn't shy of muscle cars and gas guzzlers. He took a long look at the new 650hp Shelby Mustang GT500. He also showed interest in the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but gave just a short look at the most troubled American car at the moment, the Chevrolet Volt. Ed Wilburn, GM's chief designer, guided him through the display on the GM stand.
Ironically, the American automotive giant was reported last week to still owe taxpayers over $25 billion following its bailout by the American treasury. Since Obama isn't known for his auto enthusiasm, it is fair to assess that this unscheduled visit was part of his re-election campaign. This soon led to a short war of words with Mitt Romney's campaign. In 2008 Romney opposed the bailout and yesterday his spokesperson said that the government plan failed but the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which he claimed Romney supported, saved the industry.
Obama concluded his visit to the show stating: "Let me just say, when you look at all these cars, it is testimony to the outstanding work that's been done by workers -- American workers, American designers. The U.S. auto industry is back. The fact that GM is back, number one, I think shows the kind of turnaround that's possible when it comes to American manufacturing."