Clinton made the case Wednesday night: "He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good, new jobs, vibrant new businesses and lots of new wealth for innovators."
But while the White House and many economists credit the $800 billion stimulus that Obama pushed through Congress in 2009 for helping to stem the crisis, the massive package is an afterthought at the convention, relegated to a brief mention in a convention video Thursday. With the national debt crossing the $16 trillion threshold this week, massive spending measures are not issues to put up on the party's marquee. If it takes more than a well-delivered sound bite to explain it, it's best left unsaid.
Then there is TARP, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program initiated by President George W. Bush but completed and expanded by Obama. The bank bailout proved highly unpopular and, in 2010, politicians challenged Republican and Democratic members of Congress who voted for it.
While the administration and Wall Street credit the bailout for preventing a financial collapse, the issue is toxic.
"The TARP is a negative issue even though it probably did more to save us from the Great Depression than anything else," Schumer said in an interview with The Associated Press.
That said, Democrats have been cheering Obama's bailout of the auto industry, a $60 billion structured bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler that kept them alive and kept auto workers on the job in key political states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Where did that auto money come from? TARP. But you didn't hear that detail at the convention.
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