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Convention irony: Ford signs raised during Granholm's bailout rant

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

The Democratic National Convention had its share of mixed messages, but none quite as stark as during former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's cheerleading of President Obama's $80 billion auto bailout gobbled up by General Motors and Chrysler, but sneered at by Ford which had taken measures years before avoid bankruptcy.

As she waved her arms Thursday night and declared that Obama's "cavalry...saved the American auto industry," some in the audience held up fans stamped with the Ford logo. Not Chevy, not Dodge, but Ford, ironically.

The reason: Ford distributed fans at both the Democratic and Republican conventions "to drive home the message that American manufacturing is critical to the U.S. economy," said a spokeswoman.

Ford told Secrets:

The fans were distributed to several state delegations where Ford has a manufacturing presence (OH, MI, MO, KY, IL) - about 1,800 fans were shared at each convention (i.e. 3600 total).

Manufacturing is a critical driver of the U.S. economy and Ford is leading the way by adding thousands of jobs and investing billions of dollars here in the U.S. The Republican and Democratic political conventions provided a platform for us to share the story of Ford's resurgence with policymakers from across the country.

Ford "fans" were our signature summer item. We also handed out fans with a fuel economy message at the 51st Annual Congressional Baseball Game to help game-goers stay cool on that hot summer day as Republicans and Democrats competed on the field.