President Obama has ditched his hybrid Ford Escape SUV.
Obama bought the car in a panic in the summer of 2007 immediately after a Detroit Economic Club speech in which he dressed down Detroit automakers for destroying the planet by building big V-8s and not hybrids. The then-presidential candidate admitted after the speech that he himself drove one of those V-8s — a gas-guzzling, Hemi-powered Chrysler 300.
Red-faced, Obama quickly swapped the cool Chrysler for the prudish Escape at an Illinois dealer.
Ironically, his former Chrysler 300 is for sale again. The Detroit News’s Dave Shepardson reports that its current owner tried to cash in on the car’s celebrity pedigree by asking $1 million in 2009 on eBay. It didn’t sell, though it is still available at www.Obamas300c.com.
No doubt the car’s celebrity value has plummeted along with its famous owner’s poll numbers. Indeed, the very cynical politics and ideological hypocrisy that surround Obama’s sale of the 300C exemplify why the public has lost trust in this president.
Obama rarely drove the hybrid Escape after 2007, using it mainly as a political prop. “My most recent car was a Ford. I had one of those Ford Escapes, and that was a spiffy car,” Obama told Ford workers at a plant this August. The SUV sold quietly after the president’s lease ran out. “As a result,” reports the News’ Shepardson, “it’s very likely that somebody is driving around in the president’s former ride without even knowing it. ‘It could be anywhere,’ (the dealer) says.”
Today, our green president tools around in a giant gas-guzzling, armor-plated Caddy limo — dubbed “The Beast” by the Secret Service — that gets an estimated 10 mpg. Like many Americans, he’s found green takes a back seat to practical.