Automotive News is reporting a serious backlash from car dealers regarding the North American Dealers Association's choice of keynote speaker for the annual industry confab in January: former first lady and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.
AN spoke to one dealer that not only cancelled his trip to the NADA conference, but revoked his dealership's membership outright over the association with Clinton. In defense of its choice, NADA Chairman David Westcott argued that the dealer advocate wanted "somebody well-known, with a name – a draw."
Still, NADA members aren't pleased with the choice, with dealers delivering a barrage of angry messages since Clinton's selection, according to Automotive News. Some of the angry messages relate to the former secretary of state's politics, no doubt, but some might just be upset about the expense of such a big-name speaker – AN cited media reports that Clinton commands about $200,000 per speech.
NADA isn't backing down, though, with its president, Peter Welch, delivering a level-headed response to AN's inquiry about the choice: "Our job is to provide our members with exposure to all facets of business and government that can affect their dealerships. Like her or not, Senator Clinton is perhaps the most prominent woman of modern times."