He ate in the corporate cafeteria rather than the executive dining room. He sent birthday presents to colleagues when they were on business trips. He wrote personal handwritten notes to hundreds of Ford employees who displayed these like badges of honor in their cubicles.
A lesson other car-makers have learned the hard way is that buyers want a car that makes a definite statement, which knows its place in the market. A perpetual question mark like Mercury has absolutely no chance of survival.
Even Bush doesn't want to go down in history as the man who oversaw the destruction of GM, Ford and Chrysler (I hope), and I'd guess Obama wishes he could install his own new team now and fire Paulson.