It took a full term before the current White House occupant made any serious effort to deal with the domestic auto industry. Not so when it comes to the two men currently chasing the Oval Office.
Detroit and its Big Three automakers are becoming a frequent backdrop for Sens. Barrack Obama and John McCain, the latter shown here during his latest campaign trip, speaking to a town hall audience of General Motors workers.
Both of the presumptive candidates have been outlining ways that they’d try to help the Motor City’s ailing Big Three, including McCain’s proposal for a $300 million prize to the company that could come up with a competitive electric vehicle battery, and a $5,000 credit to those who buy zero-emission vehicles.
Trailing his Democratic rival, in part because of perceived weaknesses on the economy, McCain told several 100 GM workers, "The key, integral, vital part of our ability to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil will be directly related to that sign over there,” said McCain, pointing to a sign for the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that GM plans to launch in 2010. "I wish you every success, and I want to help in every way."
Michigan and neighboring industrial states, notably Ohio, are considered crucial in the 2008 election, and could wind up delivering the deciding electoral votes.