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Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Business, Politics | 8 comments

Chrysler’s Popular and Controversial Super Bowl Commercial: Clint Eastwood in It’s Halftime in America (UPDATED)

The Super Bowl commercial that is getting the most welcome and unwelcome buzz is Chrysler’s moving “It’s Halftime in America” commercial featuring the great Clint Eastwood, who praises American’s tradition of coming together and acting as one in times of adversity. He points to how Detroit was written off but survived.

Who could argue that was some kind of manipulative political, ideological statement? (Some Republicans suggest it was to boost Barack Obama’s re-election chances and some Democrats felt it might be suggesting its time to change the coach — a view voiced on several talk shows).

Who could argue that a commercial featuring Eastwood — reportedly considered a possibility for Vice President in 1988 by President George H.W. Bush, when Eastwood was the Republican Mayor of Carmel, CA — — would be the face of insidious Democratic Party propaganda, the puppet of liberal ideology trying to plant the message that Barack Obama should be re-elected. Karl Rove, that’s who, among others.

SPECIAL UPDATE: Eastwood told Fox News this ad was not political:

“I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama,” Eastwood told Fox News Channel on Monday.

“It was meant to be a message,” Eastwood told The O’Reilly Factor producer Ron Mitchell, “just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK.”

These are the days when everything must be twisted into some kind of a partisan attack (by the way: did you know that Red Riding Hood was a socialist tool of municipal bus unions?).

But for just one second — puh-leaze — if you haven’t see it, watch this ad that tries to appeal to the best in Americans, even though some have forgotten that the best in America doesn’t always mean partisan politics.

Or always include it…

UPDATE: Chrysler insists there was nothing political in the ad (which means those attacking the ad and the company will say they are lying and that it’s really part of a campaign to re-elect Obama. Why bother watching the talking heads — or in some cases competing screaming heads from the same party shouting what you’d expect them to shout — when you increasingly know what will be said in our 24/7 hyper-partisan era?)

UPDATE II: As this becomes more (what else?) politicized, the stories multiply but some don’t fit in with the narratives some would like. To wit:
The video talking about Detroit was filed in New Orleans (FYI I live in San Diego and many times Los Angeles has doubled for San Diego and San Diego has been cast as another city)
Clint Eastwood was a critic of the auto bailout (DRAT! There go the suggestions that he, too, sat on a bench with Nancy Pelosi..)
Conservative criticism continues
The ad has sparked the kind of discord it decried.

But is that ANY surprise in polarized America where if there is no evident reason for a political fight, some will start one? (‘Unity, schmunity what does that matter when we can open a line of attack here?”)

Writes The Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Grier:

Calm down people. Sometimes an auto ad is just a promotional tool for vehicles, not another division point in the endless war of words between the political red and blue. We think ordinary voters will see the ad as a good example of a common commercial category: the corporate flag-waver.