If you're campaigning for Mitt Romney and believe in the electrification of transportation, you're kind of between a rock and a hard place. While Romney previously had supported electric and other non-petroleum vehicles, more recently, he's shifted his focus to freedom from foreign oil through domestic, clean oil drilling. Once upon a time, after all, Romney said the Chevrolet Volt was an "idea whose time has not come."

Dan Senor, one of Romney's closest political advisers, would like this presidential candidate to support EVs – and Israel – and has co-written a 2009 bestseller about the power of plug-ins. Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle makes the point that advanced new technologies like oil-free cars could transform entire global industries. Many countries in the Arab world are completely dependent on oil and should be going for biotech, medical devices, cleantech, greentech, and IT, according to Senor. He disagrees with the Romney campaign's argument that developing domestic carbon energy reserves would spawn an economic resurgence.

Senor, 41, has been active in the Republican party for years. He's been advising Romney since 2006 and has always thought Romney shares his views on the Middle East. More recently, Senor was named senior adviser to vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan.

Senor co-authored "Start-Up Nation" with American-Israeli columnist Saul Singer, and it was written, at least partly, to garner more support for Israel in the U.S. Singer is married to Senor's sister, Wendy Senor Singer, director of the Jerusalem office of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobby.

Senor's books and recent lectures have given a nod to Better Place, the Palo Alto, CA-based EV charging network company that's building the first network for electric cars in Israel. Better Place CEO and founder Shai Agassi was born in Israel and is depicted in the book as being the epitome of forward-thinking Israeli entrepreneurs. In January 2011, Agassi rode with Romney in an electric car during Romney's trip to Israel.

Senor has been playing a role as a critical emissary for Romney to Israeli leadership and the Jewish-American community. Senor has planned tours of Israel for Romney and other high-profile GOP leaders. The pressure's on for Senor now – will Romney win the White House job, and if he does, would he support Israel's role as an EV and greentech leader?


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  • 195 Comments
      SonataGuy1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guys, fellow Autoblogers, i have seen the light. We need to re-elect Obama. Think about all the positive thing he gave us. Say you are slaking off at work and trolling on Autoblog most of the day. So it's been a few years and the boss is really fed up with you. He confronts you, Boss: Johnson where's that report i asked to prepare 3 months ago. You: I did not do it, because the guy who was here before me only showed me 6 times how to do this report, and that was not enough...................so you can't blame me for not doing anything. Boss: Save the excuses for the welfare office workers, you are out of here. You: (Put your most arrogant face on, chin up) Boss, next week i will give a major speech about my lack of production at this position. Now you see if Romney gets elected boss will simply fire you on the spot, but with Obama in office you can slack off for years on the job and at the end use the "major speech" excuse to start looking for a new job. Obama 2012.
        PICKLEBOY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SonataGuy1
        Obama hasn't done crap for this country, he has put it 5 Trillion more dollars into debt (double what Bush did) and he did it in only 3 1/2 years. and this so called "4.3Million jobs created" is bull too, we lost that many jobs after his first year and office and all he did by "creating" 4.3 million jobs is put us up about 120k jobs from where we started with him and that growth is dramatically slowing. Obama doesn't know how to run a country. He's just a really cool guy, thats nice to hang out with and a great speaker, but when it comes down to it and doesn't know whats right for this country
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          Shhh!! Don't do that. Liberal hate being confronted with facts. It's no wonder the symbol for the party they so blindly support is that of a donkey. It suits them quite well.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          A "5 trillion dolllar debt" is the same as what Bush Jr added, and ironically, a major factor in both cases was the Bush tax cuts, which are still in effect. But Obama did turn the economy around, from loosing over 70,000 jobs each month when he took office to gaining thousands of jobs each month for 24 straight months. Not perfect, but certainly an improvement.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SonataGuy1
        SonataGuy1, you're the perfect example of the low-information voter, who hasn't got a clue what you're talking about. Your Laziness to look up what Mitt and the Republican Party is ACTUALLY Doing, means Your the One Getting Screwed. "If you don't know who the sucker is at the poker table..." It's you. Where do you get your wacko information, that would be interesting for the rest of us?
          Jason Krumvieda
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          I believe it is "You're the one getting screwed" High Unemployment, High Debt, High Deficits (Obama said he would half them, and we believed him), The government has gotten into college loans. That is a huge problem. In a few years you will see an education bubble similar to the housing bubble. Schools can start jacking up the prices because the loans are backed by the government. The Government will start to require a certain percentage of the loans go to a class of people. Defaults will go through the roof. This is exactly what happened with Fannie and Freddie. This is what happens when the Free Market gets turned over to Bureaucrats. They need to stay out of it.
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SonataGuy1
        Let me know when you're ging to resort to actual facts, rather than this BS.
          SonataGuy1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          These are facts, Obama is great for this country. We need a REAL Leader, like Obama. I mean the way he lead us thru the deficit reduction talks that nearly ended in a default of this country was amazing. The way he put everything aside to make sure that Americans will have jobs. I love that man. We do not need people like Romney and his "business" background. Starting your own Hedge Fund is not a real experience, he has no qualifications. Now Obama never worked in a "business" world, so he knows how we feel. He knows how to create those jobs. He knows that private sector is a joke and that only the government can lead us to prosperity....................he knows that we all have to belong to a union to make sure that the "taxpayers" do not screw us over. Obama 2012, Biden 2016.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Remember that Bush was the first MBA President and look where that got us.
          Justin Campanale
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Business experience? I invite you to watch a video on YouTube called "When Romney Came To Town" . It shows the mysteries behind the business practices which Romney cites as his experience in the business background.
          Jason Krumvieda
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Justin is unfamiliar with sarcasm. Lookout Sonataguy! If you make a joke you might be a racist or the liberals favorite word "Hypocrite". I was once called myopic for sarcasm, but I have 20/10 vision.
          Jason Krumvieda
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          Just my 2 cents, but don't start comparing Obama's business record to Romney's. Mitt may have lead a company and was the CEO. Barack has written 2 books. About himself. Wow.
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this the best candidate the Republicans can have to run for President of the United States? He can say all he wants about making the economy better and I believe him. He is just not improving the economy to 90% of Americans but the 10% that supports him. With Romney there will be more jobs, yes but more jobs for people to work at Walmart or McDonalds. I am not sure that's what we need. Not everyone in this country can have a college education and will get a job to provide services, we need to increase our manufacturing sector or simply bring them back home. The United States will be doing much better if it wasn't for the negativity by Republicans at the senate or house of Representatives who just don't support anything to move this country forward. They don't have to like the current President in order to agree with him, instead they simply seat their asses not doing anything. This is the kind of thinking that sends our nation in the wrong direction.
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Arturo Rios Jr.
        10%? In 2008, 47% of Americans voted for John McCain, and currently, President Obama's job approval ratings are around 50%. With that in mind, are you trying to tell us that this November 90% of Americans are going to go out and vote for Obama? The numbers just don't quite add up. I think it's safe to say the election results are going to be a lot closer than you think. As for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US? Policies of the Democratic party are part of the reason those manufacturing jobs left our shores in the first place.
          purrpullberra
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          It was the GOP's anti-union tax policy of breaks for companies who move jobs overseas. All through the 90's. The democrat side, especially union people, hated it, and they hated NAFTA too, a much smaller loss of jobs. We see why now. Search for tax breaks for corporate moves overseas. The GOP promised cheap goods and busted up unions and look how well the GOP economy turned out in 2008! The GOP offer nothing but the same garbage that ruined the economy: less taxes on the rich, more pollution from those who want to pollute and always help only the powerful. How does America get get better this way? Is it all the pollution? Or is all the tax burden they dodge what helps us all so much?
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          ...And guess what president was in office when NAFTA was put into place.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          I like how I get downvoted for stating the facts in a logical manner. All the down votes won't change what's fact. and purrpulberra Look how well the Democrat economy has turned out in Detroit over the last half century. It just so happens to be one of the most liberal cities in the country, as well as one of the most impoverished and high crime rated. Oh, and it also has one of the lowest high school graduation rates as well. Is that the liberal paradise you would like to see become of this country?
        PICKLEBOY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Arturo Rios Jr.
        10% that support him? you are sadly mistaken. And its a two way street as far as congress goes. both sides are blocking each other out, its republicans and democrats, its both sides. Obama is currently running our country with no budget! only the Republicans have proposed budget plans all of which the democrats continue to not support. You are blindly making accusations my friend
          Eric Grez
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PICKLEBOY
          I believe by 10% he meant the wealthy, most people are used to them being called the 1%.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Listen to Romney's actual words before you blast him. He said that the Volt is an "idea whose time has not yet come." GM is not a charity. It is a business and as such, it needs to make a profit. Ropmneyt is a businessman, so he knows this very well. As wonderful of a machine as the Volt is, can anyone argue that it has been a good business model so far? Has it been reaching it sales goals? Even with the subsidies, can anyone argue that it has made GM a profit so far? With new competiors like the Cmax coming out how long will it be before it is a profit maker? Looking at the Volt as a business model, can anyone argue that Romney's statement was wrong? Furthermore, can anyone argue that this statement makes him anti-EV?
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        They're not selling as many Volts as they'd hoped, but in this down economy, nobody is selling as much as they'd hoped to do. Still, sales are good and rising, and good enough to be turning a profit, certainly good enough to continue development and sales of the plug-in technology used in the Volt. As for Romney's statement, it's a weasel worded way of pleasing the dittohead crowd that follows Rush and Fox in condemning the Volt as the "Obama-mobile", even though the President had no role in the development of the Volt. So if the Volt becomes a success, then Romney will claim that "It's time is now, just as I predicted", and if it fails and other plug-ins succeed, Romney will claim "Look, I predicted it's failure, it came to market too soon". As far as I can tell, other than that one statement in response to a question about the Volt, Romney has said nothing about plug-in hybrids, or EVs, or hydrogen cars, or even biofuels. The only thing Romney cares about is that the rich get richer, and big corporations, including big oil and big coal, making lots more money. If that means more oil imports and less renewables, that's fine with him.
      Sean Conrad
      • 2 Years Ago
      No.. tell Romney NOT to support them, because then a day later he will tell people he does and they'll get what they want.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      He got $60 million dollars in campaign contributions from the oil, gas and coal lobbies. Who do you think he will support? What a strange man.
      thor.petersen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dan Senor is an ugly moron. Too bad Romney listens to this loser.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just give him a few weeks, and he'll change his position. I call Mitt Romney Schrodinger's candidate. One must study quantum mechanics to understand his true position.
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honestly, I'd prefer Chris Christie over Romney.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obama's and Romney of this world will tell you what you want to hear to get elected. But once they are in power they do sweet bugger all. Obama promised he would cut unemployment by millions and millions he has failed last set of employment numbers were relatively high for the US creating phoney jobs is not the way forewords. Governments meed to act with great fiscal responsibility get the US government spending down keep it under control, if they had have done the US would not be sitting on a $16 trillion ever growing sea of government debts, that could send the US economy over the fiscal cliff January 1st 2013, printing phoney Fiat money in QE3 will just debase the US currency even more.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        If Obama had NOT cut so many government jobs, including teachers and cops hired by stimulus and now gone, there would be 7% or less unemployment. But to appease the liar-filled teabaggers guild GOP insist Obama rid us of public servants. Only started caring when a black man got into power. GOP = bigotry nowadays
          American Refugee
          • 2 Years Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Millions of teachers and cops are paid in part or whole through money provided under federal programs, which have been cut back, leading to lay offs. either way, 680,000 government workers, at all levels, have lost their jobs in the recession, and yes, that has adversely effected unemployment.
          wehttam
          • 2 Years Ago
          @purrpullberra
          teachers and cops are employees of local governments not the federal government
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Well if you want fiscal responsibility, the last thing you want is a GOPer in the whitehouse.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Rick, Hey, how is all your nutbagger austerity working over there in the UK? Oh yea, not so good. Thanks anyways.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          so instead we should just keep borrowing and printing money ? liberal insanity
        American Refugee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        What, bike monomaniac Rick is also a purveyor of economically retarded teabagger nostrums? I'm so surprised! 4.2 million new private sector jobs, offset by 680,000 eliminated public sector jobs, still qualifies as cutting unemployment by "millions", RIck. But America's unemployment problems are long term and structural, caused by declining exports, outsourcing, poor investment in infrastructure and education, and general demographic trends. They were masked by the real estate bubble, but they've been growing for thirty years. People who lay the blame at the foot of one man or administration are moron reductionists who see politics as a game. Also, all money is fiat money, and quantitative easing hasn't "debased" the US currency, which is doing just fine, thank you very much. The inflationary spiral of your fearmongering predictions hasn't happened, and now people like you look like cult members standing around five minutes after you said the world would end. But then again, what did I expect from someone who incoherently vomits out numbers like squid ink?
      Disgruntled Goat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let the joy and open minded comments be made by all! Yep....celebrating diversity....as long as everyone believes the same way we do....if not....meh....my favorite is now 'Chicago' is a racist term....(MSNBC)
        SonataGuy1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Disgruntled Goat
        How dare you criticize MSNBC, any man would be proud to make love to Rachel Maddow. Just close your eye and imagine kissing her.
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SonataGuy1
          Yes, me and Rachel and Ellen. Sort of a braniac lesbian fantasy thing.
          korblalak
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SonataGuy1
          Dude what's your problem? are so this insecure about your own sexuality?
      whofan
      • 2 Years Ago
      One guy actually cares about the domestic auto industry, He will be the one to get my vote. Romney would let the industry liquidate. The same industry that his father worked for and put food on the table to feed his dumb ass! Mitts` father ran American Motors. AMC would no doubt been on the same boat as GM and Chrysler if they had made it that far. Mitt is no son of Michigan!
      barreto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are there any of us who support Romney AND Electric Vehicles? I'm all for new technology but when GM can't make money off the Volt and they're pissing away $50k of my tax money on each one, no, I don't support that.
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @barreto
        You should be happy. I wish I made enough money to pay $50,000 in taxes.
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @barreto
        "Are there any of us who support Romney AND Electric Vehicles?" I support Romney. Although I don't make enough money to qualify for a significant tax credit, I plan to support electrification by making my next vehicle purchase one with a plug.
        American Refugee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @barreto
        Since it's a lie that each Volt pisses away 50K of your tax money, you will be changing your vote now, correct? Since that lie was the reason for it?
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @American Refugee
          I'm wondering how you know it's a lie? Insider information? Do you work in the GM accounting department? Saying it is not true is just as stupid as saying it is.
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