It's been a couple of years since I've talked to President Bush about the auto industry.
OK, it's been 10 years.
And, technically, he wasn't the president ... yet.
I interviewed George W. Bush during the 2000 campaign, just weeks before he was elected president.
He was in campaign mode, having made a stop at a General Motors factory in Pontiac, Mich., in search of votes from auto workers and auto execs. So he agreed to sit down with a couple of reporters.
Of course we talked about the auto industry.
Going into the interview I had expected Bush to be conversant on auto topics. After all, his campaign manager was Andy Card, a veteran auto industry lobbyist who had been CEO of the old American Automobile Manufacturers Association and later a GM vice president.
After the election he was promoted to White House chief of staff.
It's funny how things work out.
Back then -- still a year before 9/11 changed the world -- we discussed topics such as fuel economy standards and possible tax breaks for people buying advanced-technology vehicles.
The soon-to-be-president told me he would side with a "reasonable environmental policy," citing the need for a national energy policy that included adding refining capacity and opening more land for oil exploration.
"There is a notion that somehow we can conserve our way to energy independence, and that's simply not realistic,'' Bush said.
Some things don't change. Some things do.
On the promotional tour for his new book, Decision Points, Bush talks about other automotive issues that arose during his administration, such as his decision in late 2008 to use TARP funds to keep GM and Chrysler from imploding.
That afternoon in Pontiac we didn't consider -- let alone discuss -- the possibility of GM going bankrupt.
If we had, I'm sure President Bush would have mentioned it in his book.