Oh, for a return to the days of Bill Clinton's presidential administration.
Nearly lamenting that is Robert G. Liberatore, DaimlerChrysler AG's group senior vice president for external affairs and public policy.
The Clinton administration was surprisingly good to the auto industry, Washington-based Liberatore tells the Automotive Press Assn. in Detroit.
“You could argue that the eight years under Clinton were the best eight years ever for the industry.”
Upon his election as president, Clinton held an unprecedented meeting with auto maker CEOs. It was part of what would be Clinton's policy to foster economic development through a strong auto industry.
Liberatore says that, while President George Bush's relationship with auto companies is constructive, “it hasn't been packaged with a ribbon around it like with Clinton, who had an industry policy.”
DC's chief spokesman in Washington D.C. says that, if John Kerry wins the 2004 presidential race, “we'd hope for an open dialogue, which is what he's offered, hopefully replicating the relationship we had with the Clinton Administration.”
Liberatore calls the current presidential campaign “very strange,” with little focus on issues affecting the auto industry, such as health care coverage and international exchange rates.
“The campaign seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time re-fighting the Vietnam War and rearguing the reasons for launching military action against Iraq,” he says.