If you have all been following the 2012 presidential race as closely as I have, you may sometimes wonder: if the Democratic and Republican candidates were civilians, what car would they choose? Suppose they were able to pick any car they want - including non-American-made cars - and actually have the pleasure of driving themselves. This post goes to the very heart of this blog - I will attempt to hypothetically match candidates with cars that share similar attributes. Because as I always say, you are what you drive. Click through for the analysis.
|President Barack Obama|
First Place: Volvo XC60
Runner Up: Buick Enclave
Let's start off with the only Democratic candidate, President Obama. Of course, in real life, he was known to drive a Chrysler 300, but any public figure running for office has to drive American. Removing that constraint, I could see the President driving a Volvo XC60. I would have said Saab 9-5, but given Saab's bankruptcy, Volvo makes most sense. President Obama is an intellectual, calm, thoughtful person - not flashy. He needs enough room to drive around his wife and 2 children, so he needs something with enough room. I could see him driving an SUV more so than a minivan. The Volvo XC60 clearly fits the bill here.
First Place: Audi A8
Runner Up: Mercedes-Benz S500
Moving onto the Republicans: The presumptive nominee Mitt Romney is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While campaigning in Detroit, Romney slipped up and said that his wife Ann "drives a couple of Cadillacs" and that he has driven a slew of American cars and trucks. Of course, he said that to try to gain Michigan's support. If he were a civilian, I could see him driving an Audi A8. For all his wealth, Mitt Romney does not seem like a showy guy; he appears to be a smart, hard-working family-oriented guy. The Audi A8 is the perfect car for an executive who wants all the comfort and speed of a high-end luxury car, but wants to blend into the crowd. It is very easy to overlook an A8 or mistake one for an A6.
First Place: Toyota Sienna
Runner Up: Toyota Camry
Rick Santorum, who recently dropped out of the race, was best known for campaigning in Iowa driving a Ram pickup truck. He wanted the blue-collar, hard-working American, salt-of-the-earth image, and frankly, I think he achieved it. However, in actuality, I see him as more of a minivan guy. He is highly concerned with family values, and does not seem to be a very exciting guy (I could never in a million years see him driving a Ferrari, let alone a Miata, even though he probably could afford one). Santorum has a pretty large family of his own, so I think the Sienna makes logical sense. The Honda Odyssey has too much pizzazz to make a good fit here.
First Place: Cadillac DTS
Runner Up: Lincoln Town Car
Newt Gingrich has an "old money" feel to him. I could see him driving a fully loaded dark red Cadillac DTS with gold emblems and a tan landau top. Nothing too technical or convoluted - no fancy navigation screens or night vision. Unfortunately, the DTS is not the most fuel efficient car on the road, which would go against his vision for $2.50 gas prices, but then again, that was a campaign gimmick, right? He'd better hurry up, because the DTS will go out of production pretty soon...
First Place: Chevy Silverado
Runner Up: A 10- or 15-year old Toyota Camry
Of all the candidates, Ron Paul is probably the most unassuming, and least concerned with prestige and image. Simply put, Ron Paul has a strong message and is dedicated to gaining support for his cause. Everything else is secondary to that. He evidently lives in a modest house in Texas, and likewise, I could not see him driving a flashy car. The Chevy Silverado fits the bill here - it is a no-nonsense workhorse with plenty of room to haul campaign signs and flyers.
First Place: Fisker Karma
Runner Up: BMW M5
"The other Morman" formerly in the race, Jon Huntsman, seems a little less up-tight than Romney. I could easily see him driving a flashy car or a sports car. As the son of a chemical tycoon, Huntsman likely has an interest in technology and sciences, and would appreciate the tour de force that is the Fisker Karma. It is environmentally responsible too. I would have picked a Chinese car for Huntsman, but at this stage, I doubt he would want to drive any of them.
|Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Edition|
First Place: Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Edition
Runner Up: Ford SVT Raptor
Rick Perry exudes the macho image, similar to that of George W. Bush. He is a Texan at heart, and I picture him using a Ford F-150 to round up cattle, drive to the oil refinery in the desert, and go on an off-road hunting expedition. Whether or not he actually does these things, who knows. I am not trying to stereotype Texans, but it is hard not to have this image of Rick Perry.
First Place: Lexus RX350
Runner Up: Mercedes-Benz ML550
When I think of Bachmann, the Lexus RX350 immediately comes to mind. It is the quintessential SUV for the strong, successful, well-off working mother. Michele and her husband have taken in a number of foster children, so she would need enough space to haul kids to school, sports, music lessons, etc.
First Place: Cadillac Escalade
Runner Up: Infiniti QX
Herman Cain is a successful businessman, has a strong sense of humor, and probably likes to have fun. The Escalade is the perfect fit for Mr. Cain - it is big, flashy, and luxurious. And there is plenty of room to store pizzas in the back!