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Sparks

Biden Raved About EVs to the Special Counsel: ‘Damn, They’re Quick’

He then made an unspecified “car sound.”

President Biden.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

It is the great Faustian bargain of the American presidency: To lead the world’s most powerful nation, you have to give up driving forever.

For some leaders, this sacrifice can be excruciating. Given the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of a Mack truck in 2017, then-President Trump honked the horn, mimed driving, and was reported generally looking like “he wanted to steal it.” Later, in 2020, during a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the president gazed longingly at some “nice trucks” nearby and wondered aloud, “You think I could hop into one of them and drive it away? I’d love to do it. Just drive the hell outta here.”

This destiny has been especially cruel for car guy and speed junkie Joe Biden — so much so, in fact, that during his interview last fall with Robert Hur, the special counsel investigating allegations that Biden mishandled classified documents, the president complained about only being allowed to drive his beloved Corvette up and down his driveway.

According to Biden, there is at least one silver lining that comes with the highest office in the land: “Probably one of the best parts to being vice president and president, I get to drive all these, you know, electric vehicles,” the president raved to his interviewers. “I have. Damn, they’re quick.”

The transcript goes on:

President Biden: You know, think about this. You had one of those big 4x4s, the — I think it’s a Ford Bronco, whatever it is. Zero to 60 in 4.6.

Robert Hur: Yes.

Marc Krickbaum, deputy special counsel: Instant torque.

Hur: That’s fast.

Biden: Yeah. By the way, you know how it works?

(laughter)

Biden: It’s really cool.

Hur: Sir, I’d love — I would love, love to hear more about this, but I do have a few more questions to get through.

Biden: You can take 30 seconds, but you put your foot on the brake, you hit, you hit a button that’s in the — and it says “launch.”

(laughter)

Biden: You step your foot on the accelerator all the way down —

Hur: Woah.

Biden: — until it gets to about 6, 7 grand. Then all of a sudden, it will say “launch.” All you do is take your foot off the brake. (makes car sound)

[Interview transcript]

In this limited context, at least, Hur’s later questioning of the president’s mental acuity seems a little unfair. Tell me you wouldn’t make excited car noises if you had the chance to experience instant torque, especially if you’d hung up your own car keys over a decade before.

It almost — almost — makes getting elected worth it.

Blue

Jeva Lange

Jeva is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Her writing has also appeared in The Week, where she formerly served as executive editor and culture critic, as well as in The New York Daily News, Vice, and Gothamist, among others. Jeva lives in New York City. Read More

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