Illinois is starting projects such as the renovation of Chicago's Union Station to prepare for the $1.2 billion infusion of federal money for high-speed rail.
Pontiac, Mich., sold the 80,300-seat Silverdome for $583,000 Wednesday. The former home of the Detroit Lions cost $55.7 million to build in 1975.
The impact will spread beyond the industrial Midwest to employees in states like Florida, Delaware, and Virginia.
Long dependent on auto manufacturing, the state and its cities are bracing for even deeper budget cuts.
In many ways she would make history as first lady.