Besides being an example of breathtaking pettiness, Obama’s foreign-cars gambit seems like a bad strategy for him. Where are Obama’s fancy suits sewn? Michigan? Probably not. He’s very proud of his BlackBerry — is that made in America? No. Does he drink wines made in Pennsylvania or Bordeaux? Would he decline to drive a Prius? What about a Saturn, made in the U.S.A., with a Honda-made drivetrain? Does he own stock in foreign companies? Did he fly an American airline when traveling to Pakistan as a youth? Are his home electronics made in America? His wristwatch? How far does he want to take this?
And what’s wrong with driving a foreign car? Trade makes America wealthier. Has he never heard of gains from trade? Is he a complete economic ignoramus, or does he just play one on television?
Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth on this one. With his San Francisco buddies, he’s Jacques Cosmopolitan, in Michigan he’s Joe Sixpack. Which is it? Sophisticated man of the world or buy-American yahoo? Obama can’t decide whether he’s François Mitterand or Pat Buchanan.
And did Obama even know that his Chrysler wasn’t made in America before somebody pointed it out to him? This is the sort of thing that would embarrass a politician capable of being embarrassed.