You all know me as a fan of General Motors and Detroit in general, so it should come as no surprise to you that when I heard on the news this morning that GM had its best year ever last year, earning a cool $9.19 billion in profits, I squealed for joy. This comes just days before the primaries in Michigan, scheduled for February 28th. The big story shaping up in the primaries is Romney’s implosion there, and Santorum’s surge. Romney, who handily carried the state in the 2008 primaries, is facing an uphill climb in his former home state (one of about five, it seems). His standing in the polls there is collapsing according to many recent polls, including this one from the Detroit News. Romney accepted the endorsement of Gov. Rick Snyder who was arguing that this favorite son, Michigan ‘native’ should have the full faith and backing of the voters of Michigan.
While I’m no fan of Santorum, neither am I one of Romney. I think that he’s used Michigan in a cynical way, highlighting its shortcomings while ignoring a lot of good things about the state. He was against the bailout, which, particularly given his experience as a businessman, mystifies me. It just had its most profitable year on record, and he still think the bailout was wrong? Incredible. I don’t think Romney cares about Michigan, he’s just used it as a prop on his journey to the White House.
The bottom line is this: barring a war in the Middle East or spillover from the European fiscal crisis, the economy, in terms of profit, GDP growth and jobs creation, will continue to strengthen, and it will do so at an increasingly accelerating rate than what we’ve been used to seeing in the recent past. The more that this process plays itself out, the more difficult that it’s going to be for any Republican to unseat the President. Policies take time, and the policies of the Obama Administration are finally taking root. I think, that as time passes, saving GM may well have been the hallmark achievement of the President’s first term.
As investments go, the riskier they are, the more profitable they have the potential to be. This investment was risky as hell. And, as it turns out, it was very profitable as well: $9.19 billion. That’s with a B. GM’s back, and Michigan is well on its way.