WASHINGTON - Just days after the first impeachment of a U.S. president in 130 years, General Motors Chairman Jack Smith stood on a sidewalk roughly midway between the Capitol and the White House and said, in effect, 'What, me worry?'
In Washington for a series of appointments, Smith was asked about the momentous events of the week before.
He said, 'What's really important is the economy is so strong. Interest rates are low. That's good for the auto business. Employment's high. Consumer confidence is really strong. And that's a strong correlator with auto sales.'
Smith rejected as simplistic a suggestion that political turmoil may keep government from meddling with business. Yet, he said, he is not really surprised that the business world seems unperturbed by what some call a federal constitutional crisis.
'It's the other factors that are keeping everything kind of in balance. The issues, really, lie outside the U.S. Once you get past the United States and Europe, the rest of the world is struggling, and most of it is in deep recession. So, we're really fortunate to be running as strong as we are.'
Looking ahead, Smith said: 'At the moment there are no clouds on the horizon. We're pretty pleased the way the economy is running.'