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Presidential Endorsement: Obama Will Buy A Chevy Volt

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On: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 3:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Presidential Endorsement: Obama Will Buy A Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt may have struggled to convince 7,671 buyers to take it home last year, but at least one prominent buyer is sizing the car up for the future. Most certainly a mix of politics and business more so than earnestness, President Obama recently told the United Auto Workers that he plans to buy a Volt himself when he's out of office.  

President Obama was addressing the UAW conference in Washington in regards to the state of the automobile industry, when he made the comment last week. In a briefing with the press, White House press secretary Jay Carney told skeptical media that the speech wasn't a campaign speech, but given the prominent role that auto bailout is playing in the upcoming election, politics was certainly at play.

During the speech, President Obama told the union workers about the Volt: "I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I’ll bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I’m not President anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.”

The President of the United States doesn't exactly drive himself around, so he'll need to wait until he leaves office before picking out his Volt. Of course, he'll have to hope that Chevy's still making the Volt in five years, something that's not entirely certain given its rough sales start. If I were a former president, I think I'd pop on the Cadillac ELR rather than the standard Volt.

The president's speech came at a time when the auto industry finds itself smack in the middle of political debate. The auto bailout, which happened in 2009 during Obama's first year in office, and federal support of green cars are sure to play key roles in party politics in the coming months. In fact, Obama criticized Republican candidate Mitt Romney's opposition of the bailout during his speech.

"The other option was to do absolutely nothing and let these companies fail. And you will recall there were some politicians who said we should do that," the President said.

"Some even said we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt,' " he added, referencing a 2008 editorial written by Mitt Romney.

The Volt itself is more of a political animal than most any car we've ever seen. One of President Obama's long-held goals is to oversee 1 million plug-in vehicles on US roads by 2015. The Volt is the poster child for the American auto industry's contribution toward that goal. It's also the poster child for the changing dynamic of the American auto industry, something that was clearly necessary in light of the industry's flirtation with bankruptcy. If the Volt fails, it will reflect nearly as bad on the President as GM. It's not all too surprising he's a big fan.


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