CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) _ Patrick Buchanan's post-mortem on his disappointing showings in the Michigan and Illinois primaries ended on a bittersweet note regarding a Mercedes Benz he bought for his wife, Shelley.

The foreign-made car became a major liability in Michigan as Buchanan pressed his America-first, protectionist themes. Bush didn't let anyone forget it - running campaign ads about the car.

''Are you going to sell your Mercedes?'' a reporter asked at the end of Buchanan's airport press conference this morning.

''You wanna buy it?'' Shelley Buchanan shot back. ''It's for sale.''