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The Boston Globe

Politics

Auto bailout in ’09 key to Obama’s survival in Ohio

WASHINGTON — It was a deeply unpopular move, according to polls at the time. Faced with auto giants on the brink of collapse, the newly elected president authorized an $80 billion government bailout to rescue Chrysler and General Motors.

Barack Obama’s 2009 decision turned out to be pivotal not only for the auto industry and the Midwestern economy, but perhaps for the future of his presidency. Three years later as Obama campaigns for reelection, the controversial bailout has allowed him to secure Michigan and puts him within striking distance in Ohio, a critical battleground state where 1 in 8 jobs are auto-related.

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