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Perhaps in the glow of unloading his slightly used Fiat 500L at close to 400% over dealer invoice, the pontiff felt empowered to take a poke at the man behind The Art of the Deal. The fake Trump responses almost make themselves up: What do you expect from a Pope who drives a Fiat? 500 L-for-Loser – a clumsy and derivative loser, even the New York Times agrees with me.
Merits of modern Popemobiles aside, one wonders: What car best matches each of the candidates vying for a seat in The Beast, the custom Cadillac limousine that comes with the presidency? Suggestions, humbly offered:
Ted Cruz – The junior U.S. Senator from Texas has been seen tooling about in a BMW sedan, to almost nobody's surprise. He is an attorney, after all. Still, the natural vehicle for candidate Cruz would be the GMC Yukon Denali – made in Texas, and Canadian in name only.
Marco Rubio – Audi Q7 or Ford pickup? News reports have placed both in the driveway of Florida's junior senator/junior candidate. Clearly, the right ride for Rubio is the upward-aimed K900 from Kia. As Chris Paukert wrote in his Autoblog K900 review: "Kia is hoping that there are a few thousand like-minded Americans willing to overlook the badge on its nose and give this car a chance."
Jeb Bush – The 2016 campaign was a long hard ride for the former Florida governor, son of POTUS 41, and brother of POTUS 43. One GOP operative went so far as to call him "a college professor in a used-car salesman's election." Perhaps if Jeb had embraced that vibe and began arriving at rallies behind the wheel of 1969 Dodge Daytona, he'd still be in the race.
John Kasich – The Ohio governor told Stephen Colbert that the GOP is his "vehicle, not my master." Perhaps on the road to the White House, but if Kasich is back home and driving to his favorite Italian restaurant, you'd best believe he should be behind the wheel of a Ford F-650. Ford moved production of those trucks back to Ohio from Mexico in 2015.
Michael Bloomberg – If you've been waiting for the billionaire media mogul to officially enter the race, it won't be because he couldn't find a cab. Nissan NV200s – selected with great fanfare as the Taxi of Tomorrow during Bloomberg's reign as mayor of New York City (2002-13) – are finally arriving in numbers on Gotham's streets. Their delay had absolutely nothing to do with the vehicles having been sent back to be refitted with smaller cup-holders.
Bernie Sanders – The senior Vermont Senator usually arrives at campaign stops in a black SUV, a reasonable concession to politics as usual, even if it is a little one-percenty. Alas, the perfect mix of Vermont iconoclasm and millennial ambition represented by the Budd-e – aka, the Volkswagen's new Microbus – will not arrive until the end of prospective-President Sanders' first term.
Dr. Ben Carson – The doctor is in...a Tesla Model S. Freed from the hum of an internal combustion engine, the placid interior facilitates soft meaningful discussions of things like energy-regeneration calibration and other outside-the-box innovations designed to heal, inspire, and revive. Revive. Doctor Carson.... Doc?
Hillary Clinton – The former Secretary of State, New York Senator and First Lady finds herself at a crossroads in a "Scooby Van," which – given its most un-Scooby-like boot-black paint job – will help in no way to get her back to the White House. Stodgy old Buick, meanwhile, has been luring in millennials with Vine videos touting its tech-happy cute-ute, the Encore. Encore: Bill will like the sound of that.
Donald J. Trump – As the real-estate mogul might note, the Cadillac Escalade ESV does not currently come in Trump gold, which it really should, with matching 22-inch rims. Cadillac used to be the most respected and luxurious car in the world. Obama bought GM, in one of the lousiest deals ever, really, everyone lost money, including the American people, trust me. When Donald Trump is president, mark my words, Cadillac. Will. Be. Back. And available in Trump gold.