Biden Misses Being in the Driver’s Seat

Sep 6, 2011 2:46pm

What’s the one thing that Joe Biden really hates about being vice president? Not being allowed to get behind the wheel of his beloved 1967 green Corvette.

“The Secret Service won’t let me drive it. I’m not allowed to drive anything. It’s the one thing I hate about this job. I’m serious,” Biden tells Car and Driver Magazine in its October issue.

Biden still manages to get in a few thrills, however. He recently test drove his brother’s 556-horsepower Cadillac. “He brought it down for me to eat my heart out,” Biden said. “So I got in. I have a driveway that’s about 1,700 feet long. I knew the Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it outside. So I jumped on that sucker and laid rubber.  A great feeling. That thing could probably beat my Corvette.”

Asked about the Onion parody of the vice president washing his car shirtless in the White House driveway, Biden admitted, “I have been in my bathing suit in my driveway and not only washed my Goodwood-green 1967 Corvette but also simonized it.  At least the Onion should have had me washing a Trans Am convertible. I love convertibles.”

On the more serious side, Biden, the son of a car salesman who sold Chryslers and Fords, defended the Obama administration’s decision to bail out the U.S. auto industry and said he is proud that it is making a comeback.

“The best news is GM is talking about hiring back essentially the last of the laid-off workers by  year’s end. No one ever thought we’d get there. … Had we not forced the car companies to reorganize, then given them help, well, the failure of the suppliers then could have caused Ford to fail as well. So this has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” he said.

Biden also touted “Clash for Clunkers” and said another round of the program “makes sense” but is probably unlikely. “We not only won’t get another Cash for Clunkers, but we’re having trouble keeping our friends on the other side of  the aisle from doing away with what’s left of the seed money for innovative technologies that bring billions off the sidelines,” he said.

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