Monday, April 09, 2007

built Ford-tough - and explosive

An interesting story over the last few days has become even more interesting. The CEO of the Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, told reporters that during a visit to the White House last week where Ford was exhibiting a hydrogen-powered hybrid car prototype that he had to practically wrestle the president down to prevent him from accidentally plugging a power cable into the hydrogen tank of the car and causing an explosion.

Mr. Mulally is quoted as telling reporters "I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front. I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?"

The problem with the story is that it didn't happen. As videotape of the event was played on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" on MSNBC, it was clear that Mulally's version of the events was fabricated out of whole cloth. The White House, usually very quick on its feet to attack any adverse spin, has been entirely silent about the story, despite its easy debunking.

One can only wonder, if this wasn't true, and if Mulally told a completely fabricated story that is embarrassing to the president, a story that has not been rebutted nor even commented on by the White House, who had what to gain?

The part of the story that leaps to my eye is the implication by Mr. Mulally that accidentally getting the electric cord (which is routinely plugged into the car to recharge its batteries) close enough to the hydrogen fuel inlet valve could cause an explosion catastrophic enough to endanger the life of the president, to the extent that the CEO of a major manufacturing company was willing to throw himself in the way of the bullet, so to speak, and to lay hands on the head of the United States of America in spite of the serious security and protocol breach that represented. Alan Mulally just said, in a roundabout way, that this prototype vehicle was a dangerous bomb.

Did the CEO of Ford Motor Company just kill electric/hydrogen hybrid automobile research and development in this country?


Blogger Mary K. Goddard said...

God, they missed w and killed the development all in one blow? ARgh!

8:40 PM  

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