Is Obama Actually Going To Run On The GM Bailout?

The Politico explores how Team Obama is grasping for any sort of positive news to campaign on for 2012. OK, they don’t say “grasping,” but, when even The Politico can’t cheer-lead, it might not be the best campaign idea

President Barack Obama and his allies in two big industrial unions appear poised to make the auto bailout – begun under President George W. Bush in 2008 – a central issue of the 2012 campaign.

So, Obama wants to take the credit for yet another Bush program? Not that there’s much credit to go around.

With General Motors back on its feet – it announced $2 billion in new investments at 18 GM plants Tuesday – and losses from the government’s intervention shaping up to be minimal, Democrats hope to punish Republican presidential candidates for their early opposition. The party is building the groundwork for that argument in the key swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, and using it to target the blue collar voters whose allegiance Obama has struggled to retain.

Unemployment rates in those states in order: 10.2, 8.9, 8.5, and 7.8. It’s nice that they’re investing, of course, the money really is The People’s money, and a few more investments like this would make us Greece. And, they still aren’t really profitable. And they still get hidden bailout type money.

The task will not be easy. A growing awareness of the seeming success of the auto bailout did little to keep Democratic candidates from being massacred in the region last November.

A growing awareness by whom? Bueller? Bueller?

Obama has already learned, in other contexts, that the political benefits of a crisis averted may be elusive, and some observers note that communities also lost plants and jobs during the bailout and restructuring process – a dynamic that could mute voters’ warm memories of the deal.

That’s right. Remember all the people who lost their jobs during the bailout era, and all the dealerships that were seemingly picked for closure due to political considerations?

Some Democrats also worry that the public still isn’t well informed on the success of the bailout – Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said he doesn’t know whether the public is aware of the big turnaround in the industry.

The Obama White House and the president’s reelection campaign are determined to tell this story loudly and proudly, Democrats say, and are focusing tightly on the parts of the industrial Midwest where the effects were the most concrete.

I’m missing the success part, other than that many people were kept working. Saturn and Pontiac are gone, meaning owners will lose a thousand or so if they want to sell their car. The unions now basically own GM. But, if Team Obama wants to make this central to 2012, go for it. I’m sure all the people still unemployed in the industrial Midwest, those still left, will enjoy it.

Seriously, is the best Team Obama can do? Well, yes. There aren’t many positives for his term so far. OK, he gave the order for others to kill Osama. He’s expanded the Afghanistan war. He’s authorized “targeted killings” of terrorists, and allowed operations in other Muslim jihadi countries. Those don’t exactly endear him to his Leftist base. Unemployment is still high and stagnant. Consumer confidence is down, and the number of people who think the country is on the wrong track is still very high. Gas and consumer prices are high, and going up. Consumer spending is down. The States still have huge budgetary problems. Federal spending is still way too high. The US credit rating is in danger. The economy as a whole is sputtering along. His base might like ObamaCare, but, the majority of Americans want it repealed, and think it will cause prices to go up, and quality of service to go down. What does he really have to run on?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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