Obama Car Task Force Owns Sensible Group of Autos
By David Thomas
on February 23, 2009
The Detroit News is reporting this morning on the car ownership status of President Barack Obama’s task force on the auto industry. The Detroit newspaper of course highlights the fact that only three of the 18 members and assistants own American, and two don’t even own cars.
That’s all well and good, and it obviously covers the Detroit News’ angle, but the report really glosses over the array of cars these folks do own. From the sensible collection of Hondas and Acuras to the fun Mini Cooper, these folks don’t seem to take many risks when it comes to buying cars for themselves. Besides one 1985 Peugeot and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, that is.
Check out the full list, borrowed from the Detroit News, below.
- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner owns a 2008 Acura TSX. He once owned a 1999 Honda Accord and a 2002 Acura MDX, according to public records.
- Lawrence Summers owns a 1995 Mazda Protege. He previously owned a 1996 Ford Taurus GL.
- Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag owns a 2008 Honda Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. He previously owned a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1982 Datsun.
- Carol Browner, the White House climate czar, said earlier this month at the Washington auto show that she doesn't own an automobile. Public records show she once owned a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE.
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn't own a car, his wife, Jean Fetter, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. Cabinet officials are typically transported to and from work by security officials in government vehicles.
- Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson owns a 2008 Toyota Prius and a Honda Odyssey minivan, she said Sunday. "It's great," she said of her Prius.
- Vehicle information was not available for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or Christine Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers.
- Here's what task force policy aides drive:
- Austan Goolsbee, staff director and chief economist for the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander.
- Joan DeBoer, the chief of staff to LaHood, said in an interview Sunday that she drives a 2008 Lexus RX 350. She doesn't consider herself "a car buff" and views her car as a way to get around town.
- Heather Zichal, deputy director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, owns a Volvo C30, according to public records and officials.
- Gene Sperling, counsel to the Treasury Secretary, owns a 2003 Lincoln LS, and previously owned a 1993 Saturn SL2.
- Edward B. Montgomery, senior adviser to the Labor Department, owns a 1991 Harley-Davidson and previously owned a 1990 Ford Taurus L station wagon, public records show.
- Lisa Heinzerling, senior climate policy counsel to the head of the EPA, owns a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon, according to her husband.
- Diana Farrell, the deputy National Economic Council director, doesn't own a vehicle. Her husband, Scott Pearson, owns a 1985 Peugeot 505 S.
- Dan Utech, senior adviser to the Energy Secretary, owns a 2003 Mini Cooper S two-door hatchback.
- Rick Wade, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department, owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and previously owned a 1998 Toyota Corolla.
- Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist, owns a 2005 Honda Odyssey.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David