Nobody familiar with the electoral map should be surprised that the auto industry keeps coming up in the presidential campaign, as it did on Monday night during a debate that was supposed to focus on foreign policy. The entire election could come down to Ohio. And in Ohio, about one out of every eight jobs has ties to the carmakers. Take it from somebody who lives over the border in Michigan, the only state that has even more auto-related jobs than Ohio. In these parts, people care a lot about what Obama did—and what Romney might have done—when Chrysler and General Motors were in trouble.
But those of us in auto country shouldn’t be the only ones thinking about this episode. Perhaps more than any presidential campaign in recent memory, this election offers a set of stark choices. Obama and Romney have very different philosophies of government. And they have very different leadership styles. The auto industry story puts these contrasts into almost perfect relief.
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