Rethinking the Probabilities on Harley-Davidson

President Trump meets with Harley-Davidson officials at White House

So, in light of today's very public meeting, I'd have to say the probability of the CNN story being true has declined substantially. It's not impossible that the visit to Harley's factory or museum was in some planning stage and then dropped because of fear of protests. However, this is a very public visit that took some trouble to visually associate their products with the President.

The man had something to say about bikers, by the way.
He greeted the five bikers warmly, saying, “Made in America, Harley-Davidson.”

Mr. Trump added that during the campaign, bikers “were with me all the way.”

But he did not hop on for a ride. Pres. Trump joked to the journalists gathered to watch the welcome: “Boy, would you like to see me fall off one of these!”
Apparently there remains a background issue in that Harley-Davidson has recently outsourced some of its IT work. President Trump didn't make a big deal of it in the photo-op, but there is some reason to think they might have discussed it inside.
About 125 positions were eliminated at Harley-Davidson in the process — and workers who lost their job are now suing, claiming they were discriminated against in favor of South Asian employees.

According to the complaint, most of the workers Infosys brought on had H-1B visas, which are intended for highly skilled fields in which there are a shortage of American workers. But the suit argues that there were plenty of qualified workers available: the ones who just lost their jobs at Harley-Davidson.
"Made in America" is not just about manufacturing jobs. I wonder if it came up. Likely we will know soon.


Dad29 said...


The City of Milwaukee has a fairly large, active, and VERY noisy bunch of Lefty organizations. All the usual suspects: LaRaza (with a different name here), BLM (supplemented by a Chicago contingent only 90 minutes away), and the dreg-Commie/Socialist/university "student" folks. None seem to have day jobs, so they all show up and wave/yell/march.

Harley's main plant is located smack in the middle of Milwaukee. This is ideal for the resistance, of course.

Since the Mayor of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee County Executive, and the Milwaukee Police chief are all reliable Lefties to one degree or the other, Harley execs cannot rely on heavy and heavy-handed police tactics if necessary. Clarke runs the Sheriff's department, of course, but that's not where the manpower is.

Further, the Harley Brass is not a bunch of Trumpkins, nor--for that matter--are they Conservative to any remarkable degree. They are 'Cloud People' or as Prof. Codevilla would have it, "City Class."

Do the math. The H-D execs were not enthused about Trump in the first place; they were probably scared of the potential riots, and they couldn't really ensure the safety of their own factory employees.

Not to mention that they might be shunned at the next brie-and-chablis night at the Museum.

Joel Leggett said...

On the other hand, H-D executives like to make money and are very aware of the overall rightward tilt of its domestic customer base. The administration never claimed that the President had a scheduled visit to the H-D plant or museum. Harley, denies any such visit was planned. The CNN story only quoted an anonymous "administration source" (significantly, CNN did not use the term "administration official" which would have indicated someone with a position of responsibility). Once again, the initial story appears to have been yet another example of fake news intended to cast the President in the worst light possible.

Grim said...

At this point, Joel, I'd have to say that's definitely the way to bet.

Grim said...

I have updated the post of a few days ago to reflect that conclusion.

Dad29 said...

The administration never claimed that the President had a scheduled visit to the H-D plant or museum. Harley, denies any such visit was planned.

So the Secret Service was surveying the ground out here because they need practice, eh?

Tom said...

Just out of curiosity, what would happen if the president insisted on traveling by Harley? Would the Secret Service guys all get Harleys, too? Not practical, maybe, but that would just be pretty sweet. Maybe we need a president who mounts up and rides across the land every now and then.

E Hines said...

Maybe we need a president who mounts up and rides across the land every now and then.

We had that chance, but Walker didn't make it through the prelims. Maybe next time, when he's more seasoned at national campaigning.

I can see it: Scott Brown had his pickup, but Walker will have his hog.

Eric Hines

Tom said...

Yeah, Walker was my first choice. I think he probably learned some good lessons, and I think after Trump we'll see Republicans take a bolder style in their campaigns. Maybe we will see such a president. Town Hall at Sturgis?

One good thing is that we still have a lot of good candidates waiting in the wings getting better. I think they all learned some good lessons last year and will be better the next time around.