by Ana McKenzie
President Barack Obama used the Freightliner truck assembly plant in Mount Holly, which produced its 1,000th natural-gas powered vehicle in November, as a backdrop to announce his intent to boost tax incentives from the current $7,500 to $10,000 for those who buy non-gasoline powered trucks.
Looming in the background were rising gas prices, which some say could reach $4 in the Carolinas by spring and hurt Obama's presidential campaign. But that didn't stop plant workers from showing some good ol' Southern-style pride, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
Juan Smith, a 32-year Freightliner employee, introduced President Obama, giving the event the feeling of a camp-meeting revival. During the introduction, Smith's voice sounded at times like that of a Baptist preacher.
“I’m proud of the work I do here,” he said, referring to the Mount Holly Freightliner truck plant. And an occasional “Amen” and “That’s right” punctuated the event's remarks.
President Obama heard the lilting voice of a sermon in Smith’s voice, too.
“I didn’t know that he was a preacher,” he says. “He must at least be a deacon.”