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GM's IPO: A victory for Obama?
The automaker's public offering was a tremendous success. Does it also count as a big win for the White House?
 
GM CEO Dan Akerson (left) rings the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.
GM CEO Dan Akerson (left) rings the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.
Getty

President Obama hailed GM's return to majority private ownership Thursday, saying the automaker's better-than-expected IPO vindicated his "tough" and much-maligned decisions to rescue the bankrupt company. Had he listened to the "doubters and naysayers" who wanted to "read the American auto industry last rites," Obama said, America would have lost more money and crippled its manufacturing backbone. Is it fair for Obama to claim credit? (Watch Obama's comments)

Obama earned his victory lap: Obama's controversial bailout of GM "certainly didn't make great politics in the midterm elections," says Simon Denyer in Reuters. But this "blockbuster" IPO was an implicit victory. It not only saved GM, but more than a million jobs, as well. And taxpayers will get most, if not all, of their money back. Maybe "bailout" won't be "such a poisonous word in the 2012 campaign."
"A late start"

Keep that champagne on ice: Just because "GM managed to put its pants on today without falling on its face" is no reason to "start popping champagne corks," says Stephen Spruiell at National Review. Despite all the "triumphalism," taxpayers are still out lots of money, GM is still "an industrial problem child" with "major problems," and there were much better ways to rescue the company than Big Government stepping in and quashing creditors' rights.
"GM's IPO"

It's a win — but for Bush, too: You can't blame Obama for "claim[ing] credit for GM's success," says Daniel Howes in The Detroit News. And despite what the "hopelessly uninformed wags on the right (predominantly) might say," GM's IPO really is an "economic win." But saving GM was a "bipartisan" feat — George W. Bush made the first move — and given the stakes, "just about any president, irrespective of party," would have done the same thing.
"Mopping up on the GM's IPO, Wall Street hype, two presidents"

 

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