The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 3A
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
OPEC to increase
President Bush warned yester-
day that surging oil prices threaten
the U.S. economy and urged OPEC
nations to boost their output. His
plea drew little sympathy from oil-
rich Saudi Arabia, which said pro-
duction levels appear normal.
Bush and Secretary of State Con-
doleezza Rice also pressed Arab
countries to do more to reach out to
Israel and help achieve a Mideast
peace agreement before the presi-
dent's term runs out next January.
Avoiding specific orders to Arab
allies, Rice said the delicate ques-
tion of diplomatic relations with
Israel, the Arab world's historical
enemy, was "another matter and
undoubtedly down the road."
Saudi Arabia's foreign minis-
ter wondered what more could be
expected of them than they are
Bomb was intended
for U.S embassy car
An explosion targeted aUS. Em-
bassy vehicle yesterday in northern
Beirut, killing at least three Leba-
nese and injuring an American
bystander and a local embassy em-
ployee, U.S. and Lebanese officials
The blast, which damaged the
armored SUV and several other
vehicles, took place just ahead of a
farewell reception for the Ameri-
can ambassador at a hotel in central
No Americans were in the car,
which was carrying two Lebanese
employees of the embassy, State
Department spokesman Sean Mc-
Cormack said in Washington.
There were conflicting accounts
of the death toll, with the State
Department, from information
provided by the U.S. Embassy in
Beirut, saying four people had been
killed and Lebanese authorities
saying that only three had died.
have come clean
Barry Bonds' team should have
reported concerns about the home
run king's personal trainer to Ma-
jor League Baseball, commissioner
Bud Selig told Congress on yester-
day during a hearing on the sport's
Even though no players were
present, unlike the theatrical
March 2005 session, the names
of Bonds, seven-time Cy Young
Award winner Roger Clemens and
2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada all
were raised during the 4-hour, 15-
minute proceedings prompted by
last month's Mitchell Report.
Selig and union leader Donald
Fehr sat side-by-side before a House
committee friendlier in tone than
three years ago yet still concerned
about how serious baseball is in
dealing with its doping problem.
The Taliban said yesterday that
its suicide bombers would attack
restaurants where Westerners eat
in Kabul, an ominous new threat
that forced American and Euro-
pean workers to restrict outings in
the Afghan capital.
The country's intelligence chief
linked Monday's deadly attack on
the Serena Hotel - a well-guard-
ed, high-profile property in Kabul
frequented by Westerners - to a
Pakistani militant. Afghan officials
arrested four people, and said they
included one of the three attackers,
who was disguised in a police uni-
form for the assault.
Daily wire reports
Number of American service mem-
bers who have died in the war in
Iraq, according to The Associated
Press. The U.S, Military identified
the following deaths yesterday:
Pfc. Keith E. Lloyd, 26, of Mil-
Lance Cpl. Curtis A. Chris-
tensen Jr., 29, of Collingswood,
In Southfield, celebrating a win
Romney camp relieved
By MARA GAY
and ELIZABETH LAI
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Sporting a blue
elephant-print tie, Mitt Romney took the
stage here last night to celebrate his first
major primary win.
Romney, the former governor of Massa-
chusetts finished with about 40 percent of
the vote in the state's Republican primary
- about 10 percent more than McCain, who
won the Michigan primary in 2000.
After preliminary results came in
around 9:15 p.m., Romney and his wife Ann
stepped on stage at a victory rally in at the
Embassy Suites hotel here to chants of "All
the way, Romney!"
The room was'filled with more than 300
jovial Romney fans, the vast majority of
whom were older. In the hours leading up
to Romney's arrival, sup='porters crowded
around two small televisions to see the lat-
est poll numbers. An ample assortment of
appetizers and drinks kept the room happy
before Romney's arrival.
The Michigan primary is Romney's first
big win in his bid for the Republican nomi-
nation. Romney campaign advisors pointed
to the win as proofthatthe state's native son
has enough support to be viable candidate.
"Only a week ago, a win looked like it was
impossible," Romney said to the crowd.
Members of the University's Students for
Romney group stood prominently behind
Romney and his family on stage.
LSA senior Amy Drumm, chair of the
University of Michigan's chapter of Stu-
dents for Romney, said that while she had
hoped Romney would do well'in the pri-
mary, a win was never a given.
"The polls didn't look too good," Drumm
said. "It's a happy surprise."
Romney may have been helped by name
recognition and home-turf advantage. Son
of the late Michigan Gov. George Romney,
Mitt Romney was raised in Michigan. The
Romney campaign spent more than $2 mil-
liontelevision adstrumpetinghis Michigan
roots, according to The Associated Press.
LSA senior Christina Brewton, a mem-
ber of Students for Romney, said Romney's
understanding of the state and its problems.
would serve Michigan residents well.
"He has deep roots in Michigan," she
said. "He's not just going to overlook our
Though Romney played up his personal
ties to the state, even declaring at one point
that he would "never accept defeat for any
industry here in America," a clear reference
to Michigan's struggling automobile indus-
try, he looked ahead to the national race.
In his victory speech, Romney fashioned
himself as a Washington outsider who could
reform what he called a "broken" system.
Discussing his political priorities, Rom-
ney outlined his steps to building a better
America. At the top of the list was cutting
down on the number of illegal immigrants
who make it into the U.S. by increasing
border security. He also mentioned ethics
reform, health care and pork barrel spend- ' .
ing as problems he'd tackle if he were elect-
ed president. -
Campaign posters, which could be found
throughout the room, read "Change begins
with us," a theme Romney reiterated
numerous times throughout his speech.
One change Michigan resisents are hop-
ing for is an upturn in the state's economy.
All the Republican candidates spoke at
length in recent campaign events here
about their plans to help reverse the for-
tunes of the state that has the nation's high-
est unemployment rate.
Drumm said she thinks Romney is the
best candidate to transform Michigan's
economy and help bring it out of a one-
"The economy is important to anyone Mitt Romney supporters celebrate the Repblican
looking for a job," she said. "And I'll be candidate's victory in the Michigan primary yesterday.
looking for a job out of college." Romney got 39 percent of the votes in the election.
Loss deflates McCain backers
Straight Talk Express
looks to South Carolina
for next win
By LISA HAIDOSTIAN
NOVI, Mich. - Lips pursed, arms crossed
and heads shook last night when TV screens
showed projections that presidential candi-
date Mitt Romney had won the state's pri-
mary election - a blow to John McCain and
hundreds of the Arizona senator's supporters
in attendance at an election night party in
The party, hosted by McCain's Michigan
campaign at the Novi Sheraton Hotel, started
slowly with only a handful of people mingling
until around 8 p.m., when almost 300 politi-
cians and McCain campaign boosters wear-
ing suits and McCain stickers started pouring
into the banquet room.
McCain was not in attendance. He had
already left the state to continue his campaign
in South Carolina in preparation for the state's
Republican primary on Saturday.
"It definitely helps at a victory party to
have your candidate there, but McCain
knows he has to get to South Carolina," said
LSA junior Justin Zatkoff, co-chair of Mid-
west Students for McCain.
Few other students were in attendance
at the event. Three young toddlers wearing
shirts with red glittery letters spelling "MAC
IS BACK" caused the average age in the room
to plummet, though.
While waiting for results to come in,
McCain supporters shook hands and state
politicians schmoozed as Nancy Grace spoke
on CNNin the background.
Attorney General Mike Cox, chairman of
McCain's Michigan campaign, worked the
crowd, praising McCain's character and poli-
"I think he's much like John F. Kennedy, in
that he's a true American hero," Cox said.
Cox echoed McCain's remarks from the
last few days, saying lost jobs from the weak-
ening auto industry won't return to Michi-
gan, but that McCain will "change the way
we educate folks."
As the clock ticked past 8:30 p.m., Zatkoff
anxiously checked his iPhone in an effort to
find data on the exit polls.
"If (McCain) wins, that's just the nail in
Romney's coffin," Zatkoff said at the time.
But about a half hour later, Romney was
projected as the winner after jumping out to
an early lead in the primary. With only 9 per-
cent of precincts reporting, many networks
were predicting that Romney would beat
Mutterings of "Well, it's still early," died
down from the pack as the spread between
McCain and Romney widened.
The crowd tried to stayoptimistic, though,
saying McCain's loss was only a bump in his
"It hurts John McCain, but it doesn't hurt
him as much as it would have hurt Romney
had he lost," Zatkoff said.
McCain supporters emphasized that
because Romney pulled resources from other
states to focus on Michigan - his native state
- Romney was expected to win the state,
making the victory less notable.
One McCain supporter remained positive
about the campaign despite the loss.
"Campaigns never go in one direction,"
said Joe Giordano, a McCain supporter from
Rochester, Mich. "They go up and down."
At the end of the night, McCain phoned
into the party to thank his supporters.
LSA junior Andrew Boyd, executive direc-
tor of the Michigan Federation of College
Republicans, said he was disappointed, but
thinks McCain is in it for the long haul.
"We're just lookingforward to South Caro-
lina now," he said.
Matt Galvan contributed to this report.
"Plug-in" cars popular at 2008 Auto Show
Several automakers look to
avoid green stereotypes with
"sexy" electric cars
DETROIT (AP) - Fisker Automotive and
Visionary Vehicles are among the companies
planning to bring luxurious plug-in sedans
to market, proving that green doesn't have to
come in an economical package.
"If I say 'electric,' people think 'slow.' They
think electric cars are golf carts," Malcolm
Bricklin, chairman and chief executive of
Visionary Vehicles Inc., said yesterday at the
North American International Auto Show.
"What people don't get is they're very fast,
and they're real."
Take the Fisker Karma. The sports car,
unveiled this week at the North American
International Auto Show, can accelerate from
0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and can reach a
top speed of 125 mph. But it can also travel 50
miles on pure electric power - using a lithi-
um-ion battery and an electric motor - before
using its small, four-cylinder gas engine. The
$80,000 Karma is expected to go into produc-
tion at the end of 2009.
Outside, the Karma is reminiscent of a
Maserati or a Corvette. The spare interior,
with rich brown and tan leathers and but-
tons that are flush with the dashboard, was
inspired by a Manhattan penthouse, said
Henrik Fisker, the founder and chief execu-
tive of Lake Forest, Calif.-based Fisker Auto-
motive Inc. and a former designer with BMW
AG and Aston Martin.
Fisker said he wanted to erase the image of
green vehicles as awkward and small.
"I wanted to make a real statement of how
sexy a green car can be," he said. Otherwise,
he said, green cars will never achieve the
mass appeal they need to in order to make an
Fisker projects worldwide sales of 15,000
vehicles a year for the Karma. The company is
talking to several companies about a partner-
ship to distribute the Karma, and should have
more details this spring, Fisker said.
Fisker is one of several startups developing
green luxury cars. Tesla Motors has pre-sold
all of its 2008 Tesla Roadsters, a full electric
sports car that sells for $98,000.
Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst for
the consulting firm Global Insight, said there is
definitely a market for expensive, environmental-
ly friendly vehicles, butit will be difficult forssmall
manufacturers to do what companies like General
Motors and Toyota have not been able to achieve
because of cost and technological difficulties.
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