Chrysler Super Bowl commercial: Why Detroit loves Clint Eastwood (+video)
Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler Super Bowl commercial shouldn't be seen as political. Americans watched the ad and saw Detroit staring back at them – a proud industrial giant, clawing its way back.
Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler Super Bowl ad is still getting a lot of national attention, if you haven’t heard. Many Democrats think it’s an implicit Obama campaign ad, since it talks about “halftime in America” and the return of Detroit from the economic scrapyard. “Remember the auto bailout? Yeah, that was us.” That’s the Democrat’s new mantra.Skip to next paragraph
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Some Republicans are upset about that same thing. Former Bush White House political guru Karl Rove said he was “offended” by the ad. Now, Rove is a pretty smart guy, so he’s probably trying to get in the way of Obama wrapping himself in Chrysler’s flag. (Think they don’t have a flag? You’ve never been to Chrysler headquarters. GM and Ford have flags too.)
But it’s our view that this argument is easily overblown. As we’ve said, most of America did not view this ad, and think, “Oh, we’re so happy the White House provided financing for Chrysler to negotiate a quick managed bankruptcy and end up in the arms of an Italian automaker that used to be known for poor quality!”
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No, they saw that ad, and they saw Detroit staring back at them – a flawed, proud industrial giant that’s trying to claw its way back. And it’s right that Clint Eastwood was the face of this. He was great in the role, for one. For another, he’s beloved in the Motor City.
We’re speaking here as a Detroit native, someone whose first job in journalism was a Detroit News paper route. We’ve got three Bill Freehan autographs. We could hear the Ford tractor plant from our house. Didn’t know that Ford used to actually make farm equipment in the Detroit area? Now you do.
Detroit’s a shadow of itself now. They talk about letting parts of the city go back to nature. But the city is angry, and proud, and both resentful and grateful to anyone in Washington who will give it a chance.
The headline on the News website this morning was not, “Was Eastwood ad political?” It was “Chrysler’s hourly employees to get bonuses early.” That’s what’s important in the Motor City.
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