2009 Cadillac Escalade HybridEnlarge Photo
That was me today. The Round Mound of Rebound stood in front of me in line at an Atlanta-area Einstein's Bagels where he was ordering a carb-laden lunch that could probably feed me four times over. So of course, I got him on the subject of cars instead of politics, because, you know, politics would just be rude over lunch.
Barkley didn't seem terribly concerned about market instability or gas prices but did express interest in the 2008 Cadillac Escalade 2-Mode Hybrid. "But those battery packs take up a lot of room, don't they?"
The towering Barkley smiled at me, and later admitted he'd mistaken me for NBA-star Jason Kidd. Once I had his ear, I was relentless in querying the giant about what type of eco-friendly ride might fit his frame and his style. He had a quizzical look when I mentioned clean diesel, but launched right in to his curiosity about the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, admitting a fondness for the Escalade's style and presence. He was happy to hear that GM's well-designed two-mode hybrid system doesn't sacrifice interior room or drivability in the name of increased efficiency around town.
Sir Charles said he was in the ATL on business, and we surmise he was doing some NBA commentating for Atlanta-based Turner Network Television. A native of Leeds, Alabama, in retirement Barkley has written several books and even shown interest in politics according to Wikipedia. This year, he announced a run for governor of his home state in 2014.
We could definitely see him being ferried around in an Escalade ESV Hybrid, though at that point it will likely be an out of production model given GM's announcement about the closure of its Janesville, Wisconsin, plant that produces full-size Escalades, Suburbans, Tahoes, and Yukons.--Colin Mathews