If you guessed “the CEO of Government Motors, which is recalling cars that Obama bragged about,” you’d be correct. Jim Geraghy notes the invitation in today’s Morning Jolt:
“Our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. That’s what drew our forebears here. It’s how the daughter of a factory worker is CEO of America’s largest automaker.” That line referred to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, invited by Michelle Obama to the address and sitting near the First Lady.
There she is, right next to the First Lady.
GM has now recalled 2.5 million Cobalts due to defective ignition switches, which have been blamed in 13 deaths. Michael Moore wants the GM officials responsible to be killed. From 2009 to now, you could argue that the American people owned GM. You could also argue that Barack Obama bailed them out and is ultimately responsible. He certainly hasn’t been shy, with the whole “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” schtick and all.
To be sure, the problems predate the bailout. But to be just as sure, the Obama campaignadministration had a vested interest in keeping any negative stories quiet after the bailout. President Obama was out there bragging about the Cobalt. It would not do to have hearings at that time about how it had a fatal flaw. Team Obama performed the task of killing negative stories ruthlessly. They lied directly about Benghazi, the attack in which four Americans died. GM reportedly hid the ignition problem for years. In her testimony Tuesday, CEO Barra, the SOTU invitee, just could not explain why it took GM so long to come clean about the ignition switch problems. Can politics explain it? There is “bureaucratic quagmire” at work in the nation’s traffic safety regime.
[F]ormer NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook took her former employer to task yesterday, saying, ”NHTSA has fallen into a bureaucratic quagmire that it uses to avoid opening investigations and determining safety defects while people are dying unnecessarily on the highway … It is past time for NHTSA to put the public first in its safety defect decisions.” The NHTSA has been faulted for not fully looking into the issue, as they concluded in 2007 that there wasn’t enough evidence to press for an investigation.
2007 is obviously before the Obama regime swept into power, and two years before the bailout. Among the things the American people need to know is whether the NHTSA and/or GM actively slowed the investigation down after the bailout, and whether politics played any role.
If we ever know, it won’t be before January 2017.
The GM investigation will go something like this. Democrats will remain sharply interested in it as long as it provides a distraction from the Benghazi investigation, but if it ever looks like it might turn back on the administration, Democrats will suddenly become much more interested in the minimum wage or something else.