With the recent plunge in Congress’ approval ratings, members of Congress are frequently finding themselves lower on the trust spectrum with the American public than used-car salesmen. So perhaps it’s time to take a look at an instance, 25 years ago, when a member of Congress became one, albeit temporarily, in this glance back at HOH from the Nov. 6, 1988, edition:
“Low mileage. Retiring Rep. Robert Badham (R-Calif.) left Capitol Hill last week, but his 1982 Cadillac (A/C, leather seats, AM/FM tape deck) didn’t. The soon-to-be-ex-lawmaker has another one just like it back home in sunny Newport Beach. So he put an ad in Roll Call (see our reasonable rates on page 34). Rep. Herbert Bateman (R-Va.) saw it, and drove home in style for $3,500.”
We were struck by a couple of things, chiefly among them paying $3,500 in 1988 dollars for a 6-year-old automobile. Sure there are leather seats, but that seems pricey, no? And then there’s the plug for the “AM/FM tape deck.” Those of you under 30 years of age out there should just find someone with some gray hair, and they’ll explain it. Depending on your satellite radio/iPod deck setup, it might be hard to believe how fancy it was to have a tape deck in the early ’80s.