By Gerry Mason (attorney, Republican strategist) - 11/19/08 05:43 PM EST
It seems to me that the Big Three and their suppliers need to get organized and take a few plays from former Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca. This campaign will be won in the press.
The Chrysler loans in the ’80s went through because Iacocca was the pitchman. I would bring Lee back for an ad campaign, TV appearances and op-ed pieces. I would evoke the photos of Iacocca with former President Reagan as the business leader repaid the loan.
The one thing Lee Iacocca did that I will never forget is that he did not take any pay until the company was turned around — he took a dollar a year. All the Big Three chairmen should do that.
Now to take accusations of greed and failed leadership off the table and put the focus where it should be:
• The Big Three represent an arsenal of democracy.
• New vehicles in the pipeline include the electric Chevy Volt.
• All of the Big Three have cut costs, and improved quality to an extent that sometimes matches leading Japanese autos.
• After 9/11, the Big Three came out with zero-percent financing to get America rolling again.
• Five million jobs would be lost of the Big Three fail.
• Cities will fail if the Big Three fail.
• Twenty percent of U.S. retail sales come from the Big Three.
Finally, you cannot argue union-job costs, healthcare costs and legacy costs when the white-collar executives are still making millions.
I would do a grassroots lobbying effort in conjunction with an Iacocca-style ad campaign in each congressional district. At a minimum, this would and should be a damn good test-run for battles to come.
The Big Three leaders and their suppliers need to be in lockstep. Ultimately, if they are going to succeed, they — we — need heroes like Lee Iacocca to lead the charge and win the hearts and minds of the American people and their Congress.
Port Huron, Mich.
Republican base standing by Palin
From Patricia Menville
(Regarding article “Gingrich: Palin won’t be future GOP leader,” Nov. 16.) I believe it was wishful thinking on former Rep. Newt Gingrich’s part that would have Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin not be the leader of the GOP for the 2012 election. I agree there are more GOP governors out there, but none any more capable than Sarah Palin. She may be young and still learning, but people tried to do everything they could do to trash her, which was inexcusable and just plain terrible.
The base is still supporting her and will continue to do so. Trashing her will only make us more determined for her to succeed, and we will support her even greater. What’s the problem, and why are some afraid of her? I am sick and tired of people saying bad things about her and her family.
It’s hard to believe that Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana got reelected by such a wide margin. I am from there, and I lived there in 2007 and all I could hear was “Ditch Mitch.”
I believe God brought Sarah Palin on the scene, so Newt, don’t count Sarah out so soon. If you are so concerned, why didn’t you run for president? It is easy to sit back and criticize others, but being in the middle of this, the criticism isn’t so easy to take. No man could do all the things Sarah did and still run for vice president. I’d like to see you do it and take care of a family too.
I think those who criticize her are jealous of her and the wonderful family and husband she has. Instead of making fun of someone, maybe you could offer encouragement instead.