GM CEO Mary Barra attended the State of the Union Address after receiving an invitation from the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. She had the opportunity to sit in the First Lady’s box along with 15 other guests including Andra Rush, founder and chair of the Rush Group, a manufacturing auto supplier in Detroit that is adding hundreds of jobs to the city.
Barra’s attendance is a complete turn-around from the company’s attempt to avoid political notoriety while dodging the “Government Motors” appellation it received in recent years. In 2012 during the presidential campaign, GM restricted President Obama and his running mate Mitt Romney from it’s factories because they were fed up with being tossed around in what seemed like a political tennis match. It is obvious, however, that those feelings have changed since then. Barra gave Vice President Joe Biden a personal tour of the GM exhibit at the Auto Show last week in Detroit. Furthermore, President Obama has voiced his support of the successful $49.5 billion that GM received from his administration numerous times. Barra and President Obama even share the same opinions about S.T.E.M. education calling it a “personal passion”.
“I was honored to accept the first lady’s invitation, and delighted to represent the men and women of GM who are doing their best to make GM a company that Americans can be proud of again,” Barra said in a Detroit Free Press story. “ GM is doing its part to help lead a stronger auto industry that is creating new jobs and technologies.”