Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is the Metro Editor for WNYC News. She has previously served as Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
After driving the black Volt earlier, POTUS signed the hood of a white Volt Terry Quigley, the GM plant manager, said she plans to save the hood of the car. “I’m going to keep that hood as a memento for my workforce,” she said. She said she was struck in her one-on-one conversation with the president about how interested he was in the details of the plant, characterizing his attitude as “no B.S.” She added, “He’s a pretty good driver.”
Another Volt update: White House aides say other than driving at the Secret Service training facility that POTUS hasn’t driven since spring 2007, when he got Secret Service protection. The Obamas most recently had a Ford Escape hybrid but turned it in after its lease ran (don’t have dates on this).
One interesting interview with a GM plant worker following the president’s remarks: Robert Allen, 62, an electrician with 25 years at GM, said he voted for John McCain in 2008 and doesn’t consider himself an Obama supporter today, largely because he sees the health care overhaul and some of the administration’s other policies as too much big government. But he sees the auto bailout differently, saying “it’s kept a lot of plants open.”
“Sometimes the government needs to help out,” Allen said. But he hoped the government could get out of the auto business soon, “I’m hoping next year.”
Asked whether he thinks the Volt can succeed at $41,000, Allen said, "Yes I do" because it will be cheaper "within a few years" and "there's a lot of people that are very interested in the environment that I think will buy it."
-- Transportation Nation