Posted by: David Kiley on April 11, 2007
We are having some fun with Ford CEO Alan Mulally. The CEO a few weeks ago was at The White House with Chrysler CEO Tom Lasorda and GM CEO Rick Wagoner to discuss technology that will increase fuel economy.
Mulally last week at the New York Auto Show made a joke in front of reporters that he may have saved Bush’s life because he stopped him from plugging an electrical plus into the hydrogen outlet on the electric/hydrogen plug-in car Ford had on display.
As we reporters will do, we wrote and blogged on the quip. Even The Financial Times carried it.
Recounting the meeting at the White House on March 28, Mulally said he noticed the President appeared to be ready to plug the power cord into the wrong outlet of a rechargeable vehicle that also runs on hydrogen. “I violated all protocols. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally told reporters. “I wanted to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen,” he said to roars of laughter from the media, before adding: “This is all off the record, right?”
Ford said Mulally’s anecdote had been inspired by a video spoof featured on ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” talk show that suggested Bush blew himself up by plugging the cord in the wrong outlet.
Okay, the thing is. It sort of really happened. I was on the trip, and was standing near the Rose Garden. Bush did fumble quite a bit with the cord, and Mulally did come to his assist.
Mulally is learning that his words will be much more scrutinzed by the media in the auto industry than they were as the head of Boeing Commercial airlines. He also joked that reporters have been staking out his front door to greet him in the morning, and they are still there at night to bid him g’night. He also told me he saw a picture of himself in the press that was taken so close he could see that he had to trim his nosehairs.
Welcome To Detroit Al.