On his way out the door, former Speaker John A. Boehner proclaimed one of his top post-retirement priorities was buying a new set of wheels, and Congress' car salesmen are lining up to close the deal.
"Red Mustang GT convertible, that's my recommendation for the speaker," said Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., who built his business acumen as the owner of Freedom Automotive, operating Ford and Volvo dealerships in Virginia’s 2nd District. The Ohio Republican spent nine years being driven around by Capitol Police. House Republicans provided him with a golf cart as a retirement gift. But Boehner said during exit interviews he looked forward to shopping for a new automobile.
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., who took ownership of his father's Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership in the mid-1990s, said Boehner needs somebody he can trust when it comes to solving his transportation needs.
"I just happen to be that guy," Kelly told HOH. "My whole life's been about selling cars. I think he knows me pretty well, so I think I'd be the guy to give him the best information."
But a Texas Republican who built his fortune in the auto industry countered that offer.
"It's pretty simple. You get the best deal if you buy from Roger Williams," he told HOH this week, on his way to a House vote. "I'll deliver it to him. I'll sell it cheaper than anybody — and I'll give him service."
Rep. James B. Renacci, a fellow Ohio Republican who briefly owned a Chevrolet dealership, had one piece of advice for Boehner to get the best deal on his new set of wheels.
“I would just tell him, make sure he goes to enough dealers to get the best deal he can,” Renacci said.
And Rep. Don Beyer Jr., D-Va., concurred that shopping around different dealers is the most effective way for Boehner to get the most bang for his buck.
“And then the second piece of advice is find one service adviser that you like and trust so that that person knows you and your car, like having the same doctor or the same golf coach,” Beyer said.
Beyer Automotive Group operates Virginia dealerships on a number of models including Volvo, Kia, Subaru, Land Rover and Volkswagen. The first-term lawmaker also said Boehner would be wise to choose a dealer he trusts, because advanced technology has shifted maintenance from corner car repair shops to the dealerships.
“I’d encourage him to think long-term: That the relationship doesn’t end when you drive away in a shiny new car,” Beyer said. “You need to buy it from a dealer that you respect and trust and will take care of you for the years that you’re servicing.”
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