Politics & Government
11:53 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Stateside: An election nearing its end

Cynthia Canty talks with Jack Lessenberry and Daniel Howes on election day.

After today, it’s over.

The campaign commercials, the ballot proposal advertisements and social media bombardment will come to an end.

But first, Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry and Daniel Howes of the Detroit News provided Stateside with  election coverage.

“I don’t think this election will be that close, I think Obama will win it by three points,” said Lessenberry.

To both Lessenberry and Howes, once the election is over the auto industry will become less heated of an issue.

“My view on this is that once this election is over, the whole bailout debate becomes a historical debate. If Barack Obama wins reelection I think there is every expectation that his Treasury Department will move ahead with unwinding the remaining shares that they hold in General Motors in small pieces so it’s not a seismic financial event. And Romney made it clear that if he is president he would sell those shares, take the loss and move on. As a political matter, Obama could not be hurt by it again and I think Romney would take some action pretty quickly. Either way, it ceases to be an issue and it becomes a topic of historic debate,” said Howes.

“If Obama wins Ohio it will be because of the auto bailout. After the election, the bailout is history and the automakers will be in a new dynamic. They are never going to be the mass-employer of unskilled labor at high wages that they were,” said Lessenberry.

That the auto industry continued to be a topic of interest to both parties is somewhat of a surprise to both Lessenberry and Howes.

“I think the other thing that needs to be said about the auto bailouts is they have emerged as the most distorted topic in the entire campaign. You would think, listening to the democrats that Romney wanted to take Detroit Bankrupt and the administration didn’t. Well, they did,” said Howes.

“To me the big mystery of this campaign is that Romney couldn’t leave this issue alone. He ought to have said in the Michigan primary, ‘That is then, this is now.’ but he kept returning to it and everything he said, true or not, seemed to make it worse for him,” said Lessenberry.

“When the Detroit News editorial board interviewed Romney in February, I pushed him on that issue and he said, ‘I, as president, would not allow these companies to fail,” said Howes.

But action of any kind, feels Lessenberry, was essential.

“I don’t think any president could have let them fail, politically,” said Lessenberry.

“Any president who is faced with economic disaster in the Midwest would have done the same thing,” said Howes.

The two guests concluded by providing their predictions.

“I hope they don’t say deadlock. I think they’ll say, ‘Obama wins, Democrats hold Senate,’” said Lessenberry.

“I think they’ll say, ‘Ohio is too close to call, it’s not over.' And that the ballot proposals in Michigan have all failed and the Emergency Manager Law has been upheld.” said Howes.  

-Cameron Stewart

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