Senator Corker Goes to Detroit

From the looks of the mob of reporters and cameras, one might have thought that a pop culture icon had descended upon the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) floor.

But it was not a Grammy-winning diva or Hollywood actress flocked by paparazzi … it was a man in the running for the Motor City’s least favorite Washington politician, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

After exiting from a proverbial back room, Corker made his rounds of the NAIAS show floor, starting with the GM booth, where he received a car-by-car briefing on the latest designs and technology from the largest of the Detroit Three.

Senator Corker gets an education at GM

The mob moved like an angry swarm of bees, display to display, from flower to flower.

I nearly got quoted by the Detroit Free Press in the midst of the madness. But I balked at giving my home town to the Freep reporter (their standard editorial practice), and she scrapped it.

Senator Corker on the Move at NAIAS

If I had written it up, it would have read something like this …

“This is a circus,” said lone wolf mad dog blogger Daniel Gray of, regarding the wild seething scrum of media clustered about Senator Bob Corker on the afternoon of the third and final press preview day of the North American International Auto Show …

As Corker was wrapping up his Volkswagen booth visit, Jalopnik’s Matt Hardigree tossed the Senator a couple of questions. Matt started by lobbing the Senator a softball, inquiring about Corker’s favorite VW, before brushing back the Tennessee legislator with a smoking fastball, high and tight.

Senator Corker Visits VW

Jalopnik’s associate editor aimed for the bridge of Corker’s nose, with a question about lowering diesel pollution standards, channeling what yours truly wrote way back when with the infamous MPGomatic Chrysler diesel post.

Corker let that one fly by, clearly unprepared to answer.

As Matt was getting high fives from his chums for getting in his questions – on video no less – I turned and mentioned that pollution standards were no longer the problem, and it was a matter of federal energy policy to put pressure on the refineries to change their method of production. Matt turns to me and says something like … “wow cool, it’s Dan Gray from MPGomatic, great to meet you!”

It was funny as hell … well for me, at least. Internet fame is fleeting.

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