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GM Becomes a Business Story Again

Akerson, who turned 65 last week, is reportedly looking at four potential successors, all of whom are considerably younger and all of whom presently work at the company.

Still, the bailout will leave a permanent mark on GM, especially because the government has only gotten back $36 billion of the $51 billion invested in the company and now expects to lose $10 billion on the deal once all shares are sold.

Our Peter Morici is still upset over unions gaining what he has called "confiscated" property in the bailout.

But the Obama administration is caught between a rock and a hard place. The sooner it sells its shares, the more the buyout winds up losing, but the longer it holds shares, the more critics will call the company "Government Motors."

History will say the bailout helped the President's re-election, with the administration claiming it saved 1.4 million jobs, not just at GM but at Chrysler and their suppliers. "Bin Laden is dead but GM is alive" became the 2012 equivalent of Tippercanoe and Tyler Too. Some may always call GM a Frankenstein monster. But it's very much alive.

The bottom line is that GM's days as a political story are headed for the rearview mirror. It's going to become "just" a car company again. A great, big car company.

At the time of publication, the author owned no shares in companies mentioned here.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and a tech reporter since 1982. His specialty has been getting to the future ahead of the crowd, then leaving before success arrived. That meant covering the Internet in 1985, e-commerce in 1994, the Internet of Things in 2005, open source in 2005 and, since 2010, renewable energy. He has written for every medium from newspapers and magazines to Web sites, from books to blogs. He still seeks tomorrow from his Craftsman home in Atlanta.
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