Bailout Watch 234: Obama Slides Back Towards "Aye"
After recently appearing to edge away from his electorally necessary pro-bailout stance, it seems Obama is headed back towards his original position. “It appears based on reports that we’ve seen that this time out the executives from these automakers are putting forward a more serious set of plans,” the president elect tells Automotive News [sub]. “I’m glad that they recognize the expectations of Congress, certainly, my expectations that we should maintain a viable auto industry,” Obama said. “We should also make sure that any government assistance that’s provided… is based on realistic assessments of what the auto market is going to be and a realistic plan for how we’re going to make these companies viable over the long term.” When pressed for details, such as whether “bridge loans” should come from TARP or the already-approved $25b retooling loan package, Obama stays resolutely nonspecific. “At this point, I’m more interested in seeing whether or not there is a sound plan there,” he said. “Then I’ll be in discussions and listening about where the best sources of money are. But I think it’s premature to get into that issue.” So does President Bush according to Dow Jones (via CNN Money), although we know that he favors using the $25b fund. Of course, with the Detroit bill now coming in at $34b, that $25b will only go so far. Either way, Bush won’t make any kind of decision on the issue until after congressional testimony tomorrow and Friday… and Obama still has the better part of two months to test the waters.
More by Edward Niedermeyer