Sen. Scott Brown’s Massachusetts victory is a story rich in detail, but I particularly like the auto twist. Brown’s was a win for trucker pragmatism over the haughty-hybrid brigade.
“Anybody can buy a truck,” sneered Barack Obama about the Republican candidate and his GMC Canyon pickup. The comment said more about the president than the state senator who had logged 200,000 miles on a vehicle he drove himself.
By contrast, Obama buys vehicles for political effect. After ridiculing Detroit automakers in 2007 for “spending their time investing in bigger, faster cars” rather than fuel-sipping compacts, Obama was embarrassed by the disclosure that he himself had a bigger, faster Chrysler 300c Hemi-powered muscle car parked in his garage. Obama quickly — and very publicly — repented for his sins and bought a Ford Escape hybrid — the trendy, domestically produced vehicle for green pols (who cannot afford the union backlash of buying a “foreign” Toyota Prius) who get ferried around in gas-guzzling limos, anyway.
No doubt, Obama thought all politicians were as cynical as he, thus his swipe at Brown’s truck. He might have left it alone — after all, Brown’s vehicle is a rolling advertisement for General Motors, which Obama’s Washington half owns. But instead he left himself wide open for this Brown jab:
“Mr. President, unfortunately in this economy, not everybody can buy a truck,” the soon-to-be-senator shot back. Ouch.