(CONTENT.USATODAY) — Despite the bailout money still owned taxpayers, President Barack Obama is going to try to ride his rescue of General Motors and Chrysler to a reelection victory.

Proof? Look no further than his surprise visit to the Washington Auto Show today where he took a close look at some of Detroit’s new models.

The Associated Press says for Obama, the auto bailout is a case study for his efforts to revive the economy and a potential point of contrast with Republican Mitt Romney, who opposed Obama’s decision to pour billions of dollars into the auto companies. If Romney wins the GOP nomination, expect to hear a lot about the car industry.

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