Carl Levin: Detroit bankruptcy would clear debt 'dragging us down'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Detroit,Carl Levin,Detroit Bankruptcy

Don't diss Detroit to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the city's biggest cheerleader in Washington. "My city is coming back. It's coming back strong," he declares.

Levin, 79 and a one-time city official, has always had a house in Motor City, and even raised his kids in the crime-ridden, nearly bankrupt city virtually written off by America.

"There are parts of Detroit that are devastated," conceded the senator. "Maybe bankruptcy is what's going to happen," he said, explaining that it would "move a whole bunch of debt which is there, which is dragging us down."

But he said that younger people moving in to take an unexpected wave of new jobs making cars, watches and bikes have revived Detroit. "You can't buy a condo in Detroit," because of the employment rush, he said.

The Democrat admitted that some of the city is still a mess and bankruptcy looks likely, but Levin added that the "other half that is going is amazing, an amazing story." The biggest hurdle: "Trying to turn around the image of Detroit."

The key to that job: The Detroit Tigers beating the New York Yankees. "When we knock the Yankees out to win the pennant, that's proof of it. We don't have to win the World Series. If we beat the Yankees for the pennant, that's more important as far as I'm concerned."

When asked about Tigers slugger Prince Fielder's inability on Monday night to repeat as the winner of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game's Home Run Derby king, Levin added: "Detroit's coming back despite that short-term setback."

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.