For years, politicians have delivered the same grim message to the nation's long-suffering manufacturing heartland: Many of the jobs are gone, shipped overseas, never to be seen again.
In his 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) famously and ill-advisedly told Michigan voters that the jobs are not coming back. . . . And I am sorry to tell you that. President Obama said as much during a 2009 visit to the state.
But this year, in a White House contest defined by the economy and job creation, that harsh truth-telling has given way to a more hopeful pitch from Obama and the Republicans trying to replace him amid the strongest uptick in manufacturing employment in 15 years.