The political alliances in the Motor City have historically been rather black-and-white, with the UAW lining up alongside Democrats and management favoring the Republicans. Yes, one can find exception to these stereotypes, but the above comes as close as one can to describing 40-some years of voting behavior in one sentence. But the times are changing, and traditional alliances between the political parties and their supporters in the auto industry are increasingly stressed.

Most recently, the heads of the Big Three are said to be getting a bit miffed with the White House after receiving a third postponement of a scheduled meeting with President Bush. Additionally, we've heard recent requests from Ford's Mark Fields for "cooperation" between the automakers and government on health care, which can been seen as a position contrary to that of most conservatives. Bob Lutz has gone so far as to claim that he may vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008 as a means to protest the lack of support from Bush.

Keep in mind that the union isn't exactly getting a lot of support from those who have traditionally been in its corner, either. Dick Gephardt was said to be labor's favorite candidate in 2004, and we all know how far his campaign went.

It would seem as if the auto industry is no longer a priority for most politicians from both parties.

[Source: BusinessWeek]