As campaign season rolls out, politicians are appealing to their constituents — or at least, trying to appeal to them — by appearing to be on their level, including their choice of vehicle that they otherwise may have traded in for a Lexus or Mercedes a long time ago in their political career.
The Detroit News reports that Senator John McCain (remember him?) has declared Chrysler unlikely to survive. Mr McCain, who was serving as grand marshal of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at the Phoenix International Raceway, even went as far as to argue
No, I don’t think we ever should have bailed out Chrysler and General Motors. We should have let them go into bankruptcy, emerge and become viable corporations again. It was all about the unions. The unions didn’t want to have their very generous contracts renegotiated so we put $80 billion into both General Motors and Chrysler, and anybody believes that Chrysler is going to survive, I’d like to meet them.
For politicians, the sphere of the personal shrinks as that of the political swells, until for some, the personal all but disappears. Then, even the choice of car becomes political. During the recent elections, one car loomed so large in the fleets of presidential aspirants that the manufacturer actually touted it as “The Candidates’ Choice” in advertisements that ran in Capitol Hill publications, such as Roll Call. Even more tellingly, the particular vehicle was unique to the left side of the aisle, and all were 2007 models, purchased after election season had begun.