Say, who's that in one of the Tesla Roadster prototypes? Why, it's none other than Tesla sales manager Tom O'Leary. Oh, you mean on the left? That's U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice out at Moffett Field, California over last week. Rice was meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and the two took some trips on the tarmac (up to 110 mph. Jealous yet?) Here's the official transcript of their comments:

Secretary Rice: Well, the Foreign Minister and I have just gone in what felt like a little rocket ship. We went down the runway there. We've been looking at some of the ways that energy efficiency can improve our ability to get off of hydrocarbons but also to improve the environment and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is an issue of great concern to me and to Foreign Minister Downer as well. So we're delighted to be here at this great company. And we expect to see great things from Tesla, but it was a wonderful to meet with the engineers, to meet with the founder, but it was especially wonderful to ride in the car. (Laughter.)

Foreign Minister Downer: I can only repeat all of that. Fantastic car. We got it up to 110 miles an hour. It's entirely legal on an airport here. (Laughter.) And great acceleration, naught to 60 miles an hour in four seconds is pretty breathtaking, so a genuine sports car. And an electric car like this has great environmental advantages, including being quiet, actually. The silence of the car is extraordinary. But maybe for those who love the tone of the Ferrari engine or whatever it is, they'll miss that with electric cars, but very much the technology of the future and exciting to see. And I think this company has done incredibly well with private venture capital. It's not a government initiative. It's a private initiative and it's great to see the private sector coming up with solutions like this to some of our environmental problems.

I love the reflections of all the media (and, presumably, security) folks we can see in the shiny front fender bumper.

[Source: State Department, h/t to Linton]

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