Welcome to Toledo -- or, more precisely, to Maumee. Your bus ride from the airport may not expose you, and the national and global media corps accompanying you on your visit, to much of the central city and its once thriving, now battered, industrial base.
But you can be assured that manufacturing workers in Toledo, and throughout northwest Ohio, will listen carefully to what you say today. Although they will appreciate your effort to "celebrate" the American worker, they likely are more interested in hearing how you endeavor to help them, and the domestic auto industry on which so many of them depend, if you are re-elected.
Evidently you plan to announce in Maumee that you will impose punitive tariffs on Chinese-made auto parts, in response to what you consider rigged competition in the industry that harms American auto workers. That you are willing to risk a trade skirmish with China over the issue suggests how serious you consider that government's alleged manipulation of trade rules and practices to be.
The North American Free Trade Agreement, whatever other benefits it has conferred, has taken a heavy toll on parts makers here. But your tariff plan is a risky strategy that could have implications, both economic and diplomatic, well beyond this campaign. Presumably you are aware of these potential consequences.
You can be expected to remind your audience in Ohio about your promotion of the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, which helped both companies emerge from bankruptcy and recover strongly. The automakers are adding jobs in Toledo and northwest Ohio, and the companies that supply them are rebounding as well.
You'll contrast your actions with the continued opposition of your Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to the bailout. As you should: Your policy has shown itself to be correct and provides a clear contrast with your opponent.
We expect to see a lot of you and Mr. Romney between now and November. Ohio likely will elect the next president, and northwest Ohio may well tip the state one way or the other.
Your visit today will, we hope, help clarify the choice that Ohio voters face this fall. And while you're here, please enjoy our region's hospitality.