An Air Traffic Controller Moment

One Republican-voting business leader who's been hopeful about Obama tells me his action on the Detroit bailout will tell him all he needs needs to know about the new president's mettle. Everyone knows, my friend says, that whatever the process is actually called, we need a quasi-bankruptcy result that wipes out shareholders, forces bondholders to take a haircut, gets labor costs in line with Toyota's US operations, slims down dealerships, and pushes legacy health and pension costs to the government somehow. If Obama can face down his own constituencies to make this happen, it'll be an "air traffic controller" moment in terms of the signal it sends about this president's strength. But "if he just throws money at the same old same old, there's no hope for the guy."

Open-minded Republicans are watching!


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