Here's an example of what Cessna's campaign is up against -- on Wednesday, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit apologized during a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing for almost taking delivery on a $50 million Falcon 7X bizjet. "I would also like to say something about the airplane that was in the news," he said, the Washington Tribune reported. "We did not adjust quickly enough to this new world, and I take personal responsibility for that mistake. In the end, I cancelled delivery. We need to do a better job of acknowledging and embracing the new realities. Let me be clear with the committee: I get the new reality and I will make sure Citi gets it as well." Of course, Citigroup is subject to extra public scrutiny, since it accepted billions in federal bailout funds. Pandit was one of eight CEOs who traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday via Amtrak and commercial flights, trying to show that they understand they are no longer entitled to such perks as private jet travel.
Rep. Barney Frank, who chaired the hearing, asked the bank CEOs to recognize how they are now viewed by the masses: "In the interest of getting the system working again, I urge you strongly to cooperate with us -- not grudgingly, not doing the minimum, but understanding that there is a substantial public anger," he said.