IN-TOWN POOL REPORT
Abdon M. Pallasch
Arriving at the Ford plant around 10 a.m. CST, the president got a brief tour of two assembly lines.
"That's the new Explorer, right?" he asked, pointing to a new white SUV. "Can I start the engine?"
Obama slid into the driver's seat and started the car.
Sticking his head out of the window, he jokingly called out to the camermen lined up in front of the car snapping pictures: "Don't worry, I've got my foot on the brake."
On the second assembly line, the president greeted more workers including one wearing a White Sox T-Shirt.
"Notice he's got on the right T-Shirt," Obama said, pointing to him.
Obama approached the new Ford Taurus and asked electrician Jeffrey Crook, "Whaddya got?"
Crook showed him the car.
"How many years you been working here?" Obama asked him.
"Eighteen years," Crook said. "Ford has put food on my table all my life."
"You're second generation?" Obama asked and shook his hand again.
Obama mentioned in his speech to the crowd of workers that "There are workers here who's fathers have worked on this plant, whose fathers' fathers have worked on this plant."
A text of the remarks should be coming.