By MARK LEIBOVICH July 19, 2012
Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is starting a company that makes little electric cars. On a sweltering Friday in early July, GreenTech Automotive unveiled its signature vehicle — the MyCar — at a plant opening in the North Mississippi town of Horn Lake. McAuliffe was puttering backstage before the event with his pals Bill Clinton and Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and archetypal Republican lobbyist.
The holding area was crowded and somewhat frenzied. People designated as V.I.P.’s kept streaming through, many in from China, where GreenTech is building an 18-million-square-foot facility. They arrived, dozens of them, via a Harrah’s shuttle bus with a big “Fun in Store for Those Who Ride” painted on the side. As Clinton prepared to go onstage, I asked him if he would ever consider buying a car from McAuliffe, who he once marveled could “talk an owl out of a tree.” “Absolutely, I would buy a new car from Terry,” he told me. “But a used car? I am not so sure about a used car.” He laughed and wheeled around and repeated the line to Barbour (“Listen to what I just told him . . . ”), while slapping his fleshy back.
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