At a time when the American government appears all but paralyzed by partisanship, where concerns remain about the U.S. economy and an upcoming election raises questions about the fundamental direction the nation must take, President Barack Obama came out swinging as he began his state-of-the-union address on Tuesday night.
And the president put the spotlight on two key success stories as a highlight of both what the nation can achieve – and what he and his administration have accomplished. Members of both parties quickly jumped to their feet as he praised the men and women of the American military. But there were cheers yet again when he turned to manufacturing and, in particular, to revival of the auto industry.
“We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back,” the president proclaimed.
It was an in-your-face reference to the controversial, $85 billion bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, a move that still has many conservatives referring to the two manufacturers as “Government Motors,” nearly three years after they entered bankruptcy, and despite their collective recovery.