WASHINGTON (CNN) – It turns out President Obama puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to fuel-efficient automobiles.
At a Rose Garden event announcing a major deal that creates a new national fuel efficiency standard on Tuesday, the President decided to note what he has in the driveway back in the Windy City.
"By the way, I just want to mention, I think I still have my Ford parked in Chicago," the President said to laughter from the crowd, which included the chiefs of competing auto companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota. "It's a Ford hybrid, it runs great, you guys should take a look."
He quickly covered his bases by adding: "But there are also some outstanding hybrids and energy-independent cars represented up here, so I didn't want to just advertise one."
The President's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, also advertised at his daily briefing Tuesday that he too drives a Ford Escape hybrid.
But unlike Gibbs, who drives his Ford to work, Obama of course doesn't get a chance to get behind the wheel anymore. "The Secret Service doesn't let him drive anymore, which I know he misses," Gibbs noted earlier this year.
It's a smart political move - to simultaneously tout the White House's ties to hybrids, and to American vehicles. Needless to say, Ford CEO Alan Mulally loves the high-level endorsements.
"We've been taking action to restructure ourselves for a number of years, and we also have been investing more in our products, so right now, many people say we have the best family of vehicles," a beaming Mulally told CNN in an interview at the White House.