Obama becomes the anti-Levin, criticizes Detroit automakers for poor fuel efficiency

While Sen. Carl Levin bends over backwards to help the Big Three, Sen. Barack Obama thinks a big stick might do the trick. Speaking in Detroit yesterday, Obama said the American auto companies haven't done enough to lessen America's dependence on foreign oil. Stacy Parker Aab, writing at the Huffington Post, was suitably impressed by the speech, not by what Obama said but the way he said it. But I think, coming as it did a day before today's committee vote on CAFE standards, what he said is just as impressive.

Of course, I haven't heard or seen the speech, and I can't find a transcript online, so I'm working from the New York Times article on the talk, which Obama gave at the Economic Club of Detroit. Writers Nick Bunkley and Micheline Maynard say he "hit hard at the failings of Detroit automakers," and that the "Japanese companies had done far better than their Detroit counterparts to develop energy efficient vehicles." He also called for higher mileage standards and more tax credits for hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles. Anyone can say those things, but it takes at least a little bit of chutzpah to be Barack Obama and say them in Detroit, doesn't it? Maybe?

[Source: New York Times]

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