It was an unpopular move, but faced with auto giants on the brink of collapse, newly elected President Obama authorized an $80 billion government bailout to rescue Chrysler and General Motors. The 2009 decision may turn out to be pivotal not only for the auto industry and the Midwestern economy, but the future of his presidency. Three years later as Obama campaigns for reelection, the controversial bailout 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 and on which the election now hinges.
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