White House Correspondent
Breaking sharply from his defensive crouch following this month's electoral "shellacking
," President Obama took a moment to celebrate some hard-won success on Thursday. The president championed his administration's decision to rescue
the troubled U.S. auto industry last spring, pointing to General Motors' initial public offering
(IPO) of its stock -- one of the largest IPOs in American history. "Today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story," said the president.
As a result of the IPO, American taxpayers are expected to recoup their sizable investment in the car giant -- a prospect many critics
had thought initially impossible. "There were plenty of doubters and naysayers who said it couldn't be done, who were prepared to throw in the towel and read the American auto industry last rites," said the president. "But we are finally beginning to see some of these tough decisions that we made in the midst of crisis pay off."
With the sale of the GM stock, Obama noted that "American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM." Driving home the point, he added, "And that's a very good thing." He went on to say that since the federal government's intervention, the auto industry has created more than 75,000 new jobs, and that for the first time in six years, all three major American car manufacturers -- Ford, GM and Chrysler -- are all operating at a profit. "In fact," he said, "last week, GM announced its best quarter in over 11 years."
For the last few months, the president has maintained a positive outlook on America's future and reiterated his belief that the country will emerge whole from the economic crisis. On Thursday, he was at last able to point to some concrete evidence as proof of his thesis. "I'm absolutely confident that we're going to keep on making progress," Obama announced. "I believe we're going to get through this tougher and stronger than we were before."