Barack Obama reportedly plans to make the auto bailout a key part of his reelection campaign, and Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic thinks that’s a great idea. Chrysler and GM are in much better shape, he argues—GM in particular is “reporting big profits, it is winning design awards, and, most important of all, it is selling lots of cars.” More importantly, employment is creeping higher in states like Michigan with a heavy auto industry presence.
“To be clear, I agree that GM remains very much a work in progress. So does Chrysler, or what’s left of it,” Cohn writes, but the bailout “was first and foremost, a reaction to economic triage.” An auto industry collapse could have wiped out millions of jobs. “By intervening as he did, Obama may have saved the country, or a significant chunk of it, from depression-like conditions.”