A Toledo auto-parts factory worker is the star of a new TV ad by President Obama’s campaign focusing on what might be the President’s signature accomplishment as far as battleground Ohio is concerned — the 2009 auto industry bailout. The TV ad is one of two that start airing on Friday, joining a third that hit television screens in Ohio earlier in the week. All three hammer hard on the government-funded bailout for the auto industry that Mr. Obama supported and that his presumed Republican opponent Mitt Romney opposed.
Brian Slagle, who lives in West Toledo near Alexis and Telegraph roads, is shown getting up in the predawn hours and driving to an unidentified factory to work. Mr. Slagle could not be reached Wednesday for comment. A Facebook page with his name indicates that Mr. Slagle works for Johnson Controls in Springfield Township. The Milwaukee-based company makes automotive batteries.
While he drives on I-475, he gives Mr. Obama credit for having saved his job, the ad says. “The auto industry was crashing down. I was scared to death. I had a newborn baby, a wife, a house, and I got laid off. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Mr. Slagle says, as images of him playing ball with his son, pouring a cup of coffee in an Ohio State Buckeyes mug, and driving in the rain flash across the screen.
A narrator says, “Under the President’s auto-rescue plan the industry restructured, saving over 1 million jobs.” The ad returns to Mr. Slagle who says, “Obama stuck his neck out for us, the auto industry. He wasn’t going to let it just die, and I’m driving in this morning because of that, because of him”.
Mr. Romney opposed a direct government bailout in 2008, saying the auto industry should have been allowed to face the judgment of the marketplace, with no “bailout check,” but with government guarantees to back up private financing. Democrats said there was no private financing to be found. On Monday, Mr. Romney went a step further and took credit for the auto-industry rebound, saying it was his idea that was accepted by President Obama to put the companies through managed bankruptcy.
I know I obsess on the state-by-state local nature of campaigns, but I really do think it matters. What we are hearing nationally is not necessarily what people are listening to. I also like this one because it’s a nice contrast with the spokesperson for the GOP, Joe the Fake Plumber:
In 2008, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher gave John McCain a face to put on his criticisms of Barack Obama’s policies. Now that Mr. Wurzelbacher has taken his own step into politics with his Republican challenge of Democratic U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the Arizona senator and former presidential candidate says he’s willing to return the favor.
“I am certainly glad when anybody wants to run to serve their country, and I’m sure if he asks for my help, I’m glad to do it,” Mr. McCain told The Blade on Monday. He was in Columbus stumping and raising money for Josh Mandel, Ohio’s treasurer and the GOP candidate taking on Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in November. Mr. McCain said he’s received no such call, but Mr. Wurzelbacher said he’ll take the senator up on his invitation. “John McCain is a veteran of politics,” he said. “I’d be a fool not to. Mama didn’t raise any fools.”
The premise behind Joe the Plumber was absolute nonsense. He asked Obama a question on taxes, and Obama answered the question respectfully and completely, although the question had nothing to do with “Joe” or his practical reality, but was instead the sort of silly “test” that political media and the McCain campaign were convinced Obama would fail. That Republicans seized on that as a HUGE WINNER shows how bankrupt they were even in 2008. “Joe” is still with us, 4 years after John McCain made him famous.