An Appropriate Detroit Welcome for Bob Corker

Unfriendly. Just as he deserves:

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and nemesis of Detroit automakers and UAW workers in congressional hearings, came to the Detroit auto show for an up-close look Tuesday at the industry he’s reluctant to rescue.

And he got a taste of the kind of confrontational grilling that he laid on auto company chief executives and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger in Washington.

"I realize that I’m not popular here," said the trim, 5-foot-7 Corker, a tiny figure buffeted in a sea of microphones, cameras and jostling journalists as he walked the floor of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.

"But I’m proud of the effort I put forth," Corker said of his attempt to forge a Senate deal for auto industry rescue loans that foundered when Gettelfinger balked at Corker’s demands for immediate wage reductions and other contract changes. After the Senate rejected a bailout deal, President George W. Bush approved $17.4 billion in bridge loans to keep General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC afloat.

Corker, not unlike the Detroit CEOs after the hearings in Congress, admitted Tuesday that he felt a bit misunderstood. "I don’t know how people perceive me," he said.

(Note, this is currently the Free Press’ most popular story, so I’m not the only one taking some pleasure in Corker’s discomfort.)

That said, I actually think this was a stunt dreamt up by Mike Cox, our current AG and wannabe 2010 replacement for Jennifer Granholm. Cox wrote a fairly timid op-ed for the WaPo the other day, inviting Senators to come visit the auto show (I say timid because Cox exhibited nowhere near the understanding of the industry–or the cooperation with the UAW–that Thad McCotter did in his excellent speech in the House in November).

And then, voila! There you had Bob Corker and Mike Cox, two reprehensible Republicans, sucking it up to the press today, pretending they might have the key to saving the auto industry. In a touch of theater, they even met at the Cerberus Chrysler booth, an appropriate place for them to discuss how to bail out their buddies in the private equity firm.

Kudos to Corker to actually showing. You think maybe he can take Mike Cox with him when he leaves?

    • dosido says:

      Corker certainly is cock of the walk, isn’t he? Jeebus.

      I’m exceptionally tall, and I take perverse pleasure in standing next to guys like him. :O

  1. dakine01 says:

    Please be nice now. As someone who stands between 5′7″ and 5′8″ (I used to claim 5′8″ but can’t really stretch that far anymore), not all of us are on power trips.

    Corker probably just can’t help himself. Maybe it is just Republicans that don’t grow beyond 5′ whatever that have these complexes that make them act like a**holes.

    • emptywheel says:

      Nah, we got a lot of those Napoleons on our side too.

      I don’t mind shorter men. I’m just positively astounded every time I go to DC and feel like I’m the same height as about 15% of the men.

      • klynn says:


        And yet there are plenty in DC who use height for intimidation in order to pull off power trips…


        Interesting when any of your posts “hit a nerve of truth” you tend to get an invasion of a troll or two…which makes the points made in the post and the comments all the more substantial. I tend to pay attention to those “spot on” posts. One caught my attention just a little while ago.

  2. LabDancer says:

    Does this mean we can look forward to having to reach up to one those height-check thingees before posting?

  3. AZ Matt says:

    OT – I loved “The Prisoner”

    Patrick McGoohan, an Emmy Award-winning actor who starred as a British spy in the 1960s TV series “Secret Agent” and “The Prisoner” and was known for playing various villainous roles in films and on television, has died. He was 80.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      PRISONER: “What do you want from me?!”

      THEBIGEYEBALL: “Innnnnnformmmmationnnn.”

      My spouse owns all the episodes on DVD. Still fantastic; although during the Bush years, those old episodes took on a whole new sinister tone and made that show seem even more prescient.

  4. randiego says:

    rut roh, wait until Freep shows up and reads this… if my recollection is correct he’s somewhere in that range too…

    hey, you don’t think…. nah

    (ducks and runs, ala freep)

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        I’m 5′3 on a tall day.

        After visiting Portugal I thought about growing cork trees, but the payola is way too far off.


        Even though I won’t farm cork, I’d like to put one in Bob’s.

  5. SparklestheIguana says:

    Now I grant you 5′7″ is not the same as 6′2″, but “tiny”? That seems like editorializing just a BIT. (A little bitty bit.) I hardly think Corker is Robert Reichian.

    In other Michigan economic news, Detroit public schools are begging parents to donate toilet paper and light bulbs…..…..ilet-paper

  6. PJEvans says:

    From my point of view, 5′7″ and up is tall.
    (While my mother’s family runs to 6-footers, my father’s family topped out under 5′6″. We don’t think we’re tiny.)

  7. LabDancer says:

    Betcha there’s some Auto Show attendees wondering how many Corkers can squeeze into a Volt.

    Put a Corker in it!

  8. Petrocelli says:

    The UAW should sponsor a Dunk Tank with Corker in it … could raise enough to cover the National Debt …

    • klynn says:

      And all the bailout $$$ needed.

      That IS a great idea for a $$ generator for the big 2.5…

      I’d pay some bucks to throw a few at the dunk lever…Most of Ohio would.

      • Petrocelli says:

        Add BushCo in the Tank and Wolfie’s Kissing Comb Licking Booth and we’d turn around this depression overnight !

  9. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Thank you Marcy! Keep American Union Members working! Buy GM, Ford, Chrysler and Harley-Davidson!

    • jdmckay says:

      That entire interview… lock, stock & barrel, was an insult to intelligence. Whether torture… Cheney dissembling on Qatani:

      (…)So it’s entirely possible there was a problem in terms of how one specific prisoner was handled. I can’t claim perfection. But what I can say is that in terms of what the policies of the administration were, both at the White House level and at the Defense Department, was that enhanced interrogation was okay. We had specific techniques that were approved by the Justice Department – but that we don’t torture and that we would not support torture from the standpoint of policy. It was not the policy of this administration.

      (…)Well, in terms of the treatment of a specific individual, I can’t say that. We had Abu Ghraib, for example. In that case, I believe, based on what I’ve seen, that that was the result of some military personnel who were improperly supervised – weren’t given the right kind of guidance, weren’t managed properly. As we dig in and look at hundreds of cases, we may well find a few people who were not properly treated. You know, I ran the Pentagon. I know that you can’t absolutely guarantee, at all times, that everybody’s doing it the way they’re supposed to be doing it.

      A few bad apples and all, and the Pentagon’s soooo big, and as Condi recently said they worked tirelessly to conform to GC and all…

      Ok then Dick… how about some straight-talk on GWB’s economy:

      MR. LEHRER: What about in the domestic area? What of the economy? The economic downturn is on scope or on a par with the Great Depression. Was it not a miscalculation or a failure to see that coming?

      VICE PRES. CHENEY: No, I don’t think it was a miscalculation. I think we had good economic policies, especially in the early years. I think the tax packages we passed in ’03, for example, produced 52 months – uninterrupted months of job growth. We’ve run into trouble recently, obviously, beginning in ’08 because of the financial crisis, as well as the recession, but those are not U.S. problems alone. Those are global problems, those are problems that have affected nations and economies all over the world; that’s not something that is just a U.S. problem. As I look at it, I think we’ve been successful at intervening –

      MR. LEHRER: On the economy you’ve been successful?

      VICE PRES. CHENEY: We’ve been successful at intervening economically with respect to the financial crisis, in that what we did with respect to TARP by moving as aggressively as we did, that there is, in fact, positive progress. We stabilized, if you will, the financial system out there.

      Luv that… the “financial system out there.”

      Now, there’s still a lot of work to be done, yet, but the inter-bank lending rate’s back down where it belongs, interest rates are low

      Hey Dick, interest rates are non-existent… -0-. Including dividends. And despite all that, banks aren’t lending. And it’s all funny money anyway.

      – all of these things are moves in the right direction.

      gives one pause on the meaning of right direction

      And I think if we had not intervened as aggressively if we did, the situation would be worse. But I don’t think you can blame that financial crisis on George Bush; I just don’t think that’s a valid judgment.

      Ok, so W’ appointed political cronies to direct every-single-federal-agency, handed tax breaks as requested by financial industry and payed-’em to move offshore and wrote legislation for ‘em ask requestedverbatim, roadblocked and/or dismantled every-single-financial-regulatory federal mechanism…

      but hey, who could’a known?

      The $USD on verge of going toes up, +$2t added to national debt… not counting off account Iraq expenses, of course… TARP investment in US too-big-to-fail US banks failing like dominoes just as many expected…

      So Dick, let’s try and clarify a bit…

      MR. LEHRER: What about – going back to the original question – about seeing this coming? Isn’t that part of the stewardship of the president, of the vice president and of his administration – to see these things coming and try to prevent them from coming, rather than to act after they’ve happened?

      VICE PRES. CHENEY: Did you see it coming, Jim? You’re an expert.

      MR. LEHRER: I’m not the president or the vice president of the United States. (Chuckles.)

      Chuckles… fucking chuckles. Geeeeeezus…

      VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s a – I think we did see some elements of it, in terms of our concerns about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And a couple of years ago, we went forward with proposed recommendations to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – couldn’t get them through the Democrat-controlled Congress.

      Well I dun’o about Lehrer, but I sure saw the it’s-the-Democrat-controlled-Congress’ fault coming alright… seen it coming since it’s what McCain, Limbaugh, FOX and every other personal-responsibility kick-the-can-past-inauguration-day market-is-god conservative & winger-pundit that BO’s trying to bring together has been flooding US public consciousness with since the belated news hit the airwaves that Wall Street has stolen collective wealth of the world.

      But I think no; I think some of the best financial minds in the country didn’t see it coming. We saw that five key investment banks in New York are no more, or have been transformed in a major way.

      Yes Dick… I guess you could describe bankrupted WS as transformed in a major way. And fact they took 10’s of thousands down w/’em… maybe you should have called it a cascading-transformation. And to ensure the couple WS firms that survived don’t evade the same ignominious fate, they bought up all the other’s toxic waste junk assets w/$$’s you gave ‘em on taxpayer’s credit card… so yes Dick, I agree… indeed they have indeed been transformed in a major way.

      They’re folks that deal in this area all day, every day, and they didn’t foresee it coming.

      Dick, they executed this Sting operation… they were the bag men. They choreographed it. And they paid you to look the other way, while your boss kept telling us the economy is strong.

      But I guess you were bizzy w/other stuff. (shudder)

      MR. LEHRER: So you don’t accept any responsibility for – on the –

      VICE PRES. CHENEY: I don’t think we caused the economic downturn.

      So there you have it… they didn’t torture (few bad apples), world’s better off w/out SADAM regardless of fact we’ve created a Islamic fundamentalist state joined at the hip w/Iran full of illegally imprisoned/tortured citizens at US hands who hate are ungrateful for the effort… so chalk that one up as success!!!

      And yes, there may be a little bit of work for Obama to do on the economy down the road…

      If this had been the GONG SHOW, shooter would’ve been hooked @ the opening bell. Unbelievable.

  10. SparklestheIguana says:

    I’m not sure what’s worse, Ricardo Montalban being dead or Timothy Geithner trying to deduct his kids’ summer camps as childcare expenses.

    • skdadl says:

      McGoohan and Montalban in the same day? Now, that is just not supposed to happen. (I knew about McGoohan earlier, but this is the first I’ve read of Montalban.)

      I used to be 5′6″. I have lost an inch. I only discovered that last year, and it was a major shock. You young whippersnappers, you just wait. Turn sixty, and you’ll find out.

  11. JohnLopresti says:

    One of the scathing near misses involving Cerberus was the mercenary outfit in May 2008, which the tri-dog refused to takeover. Farther along the venue is the tallness booth wherein a famous farm philosopher holds sway regarding Keynes.

  12. randiego says:

    OT Alert:

    Well kids, I’m off for a weekend in Santa Cruz. (These are part of those January plans I kept rambling on about…)

    I’ll be reading but not likely commenting. (By the time the comment threads load on my Instinct I’ve forgotten what I was going to say.)

    Go AZ Cards!
    Go Ravens!

    • emptywheel says:

      Are those your picks?

      Because if we can wrest the hubcap out of Phred’s hands, you never know whether you might win it.

      Though I’m thinking everyone has to pick the Super Bowl winner, too.

      Anyway. Go have some Bonny Doon for me, between waves.

    • freepatriot says:

      say HIGH to the butterflies

      seriously, there is a butterfly refuge at the end of West Cliff Drive

      and you know Mavericks might be booming on any given day, right ???

      (personal note, when I was young, my Aunt lived in a house that had a view of the radar station that is used in the lineup at Mavericks)

      other than that, Santa Cruz sucks in the off season, eh

      so have fun …


        • freepatriot says:

          we both got “legal experience”

          maybe we was in different chairs, but we both learned the same things …

          take Arraignments, bet you passed the first time

          so did I

          it’s kinda the same thing


          I was thinkin of writin something about what scooter and deadeye might be going thru. I don’t know about anybody else here, but I actually have experienced a time when I knew the police were coming to get me. I spent a week waitin for those bastards once (I’m not gonna tell ya why) It’s a unique experience

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            Oh, in my dreams the minute that Obama is sworn in Federal Marshals show up to put Bush, Cheney, and their pals in handcuffs and read them their rights.

            Granted, it’s total fantasy.
            But all things start with dreams.

      • randiego says:

        and you know Mavericks might be booming on any given day, right ???
        (personal note, when I was young, my Aunt lived in a house that had a view of the radar station that is used in the lineup at Mavericks)

        There’s a swell arriving Friday afternoon, and they are opening the window for the Mavericks contest. If they say it’s on, you have 24 hours to arrive, and they all manage to get there.

        I’m expecting epic swell, and we have a little contest of our own at Steamer Lane.

  13. Teddy Partridge says:

    Other Senators should go to the show. This was very smart of Corker — at least he can claim first-hand experience at seeing the cars Detroit claims will power their turnaround. Seriously, where are the Democrats?

    • emptywheel says:

      You checked the weather lately for Detroit? Actual temperatures of 3-9 degrees with wind chill expected to be 15 below.

      Klobuchar, Dorgan, Conrad? They could handle it. But it’s a tough slog here right now.

  14. LabDancer says:

    OT back to Lehrer’s attempt to defrost Dick – & my favorite exchange: Lehrer tried to engage him in considering why he personally had such low approval ratings per teh polls:

    Mumbles: “Have you checked it recently? I don’t know what it is.

    Lehrer, with an extra twinkle: “I have- I have- the- in terms of history polling goes on 70 years- – the only vice president that’s ever had a lower approval rating is Dan Quayle

    Mumbles: “mm-hmm”

    * * *
    This is Intell Cheney mumbling here; pen knife out & Dick into the Times & the Post like there’s a confession in them somewhere.

    So what’s the parsing on this “mm-hmm”?

    [A] what’s your point?

    [B] you’re enjoying this aren’t you?

    [C] … go fructose yourself…

    [D] 5 days to go- me caught holding big at Intrade on the over- & you go & ask that

    [E] other

  15. MadDog says:

    Wow is it gonna be cold here on the tundra!

    They predict -21 degrees even before the windchill.

    With the temp at -9 now, the windchill is already -29.

    The windchill is expected to be between -45 and -50 before the night is through. Yeeeoooooowwww!

    For those of you who can’t imagine this, try taking your clothes off, grabbing a fan and sitting in your freezer for 12 hours.

    That would be a balmy and tropical experience compared to the Minnesota tundra tonight.

    One of these days I’m gonna move south where it’s warm. Someplace like Iowa.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Hope you don’t have to go out, MD. Have been through something close enough to know that your thought experiment doesn’t even get to the outer edge of what-the-hell-is-wrong-out-here that a -35 wind chill would produce.

      Groovin’ at -14 wind chill …

      • MadDog says:

        I suspect many will find “the car won’t start” excuse mighty tempting, if not true, in the morning.

        I’m practicing how to call it in tomorrow without leaving my bed. *g*

        • prostratedragon says:

          Ah, yes, ice sculptures at the bus stops … oh wait, those are your neighbors!

          I see Winter Carnival is still a week off. When our group went up for it eons ago I was so disappointed: that week, it wasn’t any colder than what we’d left in Chicago (though I must admit that the 5 or so feet of snow on the ground was pretty impressive).

          Both Montalban and McGoohan! For some reason the former had crossed my mind several times recently. And of course The Prisoner is one of the very best of the best. Remember the ending?

          Here my two fav dancing lady specialists square off against the fabulous Ricardo Montalban:

          Bailando con Celos

    • Jesterfox says:

      It is -24 degrees here in Iowa this morning, -43 degrees with windchill. You night want to try a little further south.