In a presidential election year, you're bound to get some gung-ho enthusiasts ready to lay their lives and vehicles on the line for their candidate. And from all reports, that's what Jim Wilson is like, as he's become somewhat famous lately as Mitt Romney's No. 1 fan.
According to The New York Times, Wilson followed various Romney events across the country in his 1998 GMC Sierra (fully decorated in Romney banners and flags posted on wooden boards attached to an 8-foot bed rack), strategically locating himself for maximum exposure. Apparently, Wilson has been following Romney's tour stops the way some teenagers follow their favorite bands.
After making a stop at a local soda shop and re-entering the highway on June 20, Wilson noticed flames coming from the back of his truck. By the time he pulled off the road and stopped the truck, flames had engulfed the vehicle. By the time the fire department and others arrived, the truck essentially was lost.
Fast-forward one week at a Sterling, Va., campaign rally. Romney came out and presented Wilson with a 2003 extended-cab long-bed Sierra Z71 and a new fire extinguisher. According to reports, the cost of the truck, paid for by the Romney campaign, was $13,900. Wilson did pay for the sales tax and registration, though.
Whether or not some will argue that the Obama administration could also take some credit for the continued production of hundreds of thousands of pickups trucks (resulting from the managed bankruptcy and bailout for GM and Chrysler in 2009) will likely be debated when the two candidates meet in public in the fall.