They’ll offer support for Detroit automakers with your tax money, but when it comes to spending their own, top officials overwhelmingly vote foreign.
Obama himself drives a Ford, but According to Politico, here’s what his staff is driving.:
- Tim Geithner — 2008 Acura TSX
- Larry Summers — 1995 Mazda Protege (he’s slummin’ it!)
- Peter Orszag — Honda Odyssey
- Energy Secretary Steve Chu — No car
- Climate Czar Carol Browner — Previously owned a Saab
This story is good for a chuckle, but it’s more than trivial. One of the big problems for Detroit is that people who don’t have a political case for buying American tend to buy foreign. And though historically there’s been a quality and style gap, the fact is is that the automakers have done a good job of closing this gap in recent years.
But unless people are aware of this, it won’t do much good.