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Halftime in America

Clint Eastwood in a stirring commercial aired by Chrysler during the Superbowl:

Ironically, Eastwood is a libertarian-leaning Republican who endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

UPDATE: Think this ad is political? Then you should read this. Why aren’t you complaining about the Skechers ad that is clearly a metaphor for Newt Gingrich’s campaign against Mitt Romney? Not to mention that blatantly political ad about vampires.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Could he have had a change of heart? I keep hearing from people the Faux News spiel about entitlement. I had a hair dressor whose son was probably destroyed by Vietnam side effects from his father before the son was born. He isn’t right. And the state supports him. And she is against entitlements.

    Monday, February 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  2. Lance Wakely wrote:

    Stirring my ass. Corporate propaganda at best meaning it’s worst. Believe this and I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya’.

    Monday, February 6, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  3. And yeah, Detroit’s doing something about the PR, but seriously, been there lately?

    This commercial felt more like a darker version of something the Reagan campaign would put out. The “halftime” is that Obama is at his second election…and most of those faces were white.

    Monday, February 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    So, why is being bullish on America seen as being pro-Obama? I don’t mind, I just wonder why people are reacting that way.


    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink
  5. Looks like I wasn’t the only one who saw the similarity here. Someone added the Reagan ad to the Eastwood one.

    They really are similar in look / music / narrator / word choice / pacing / etc. And I stick by my contention that the Eastwood ad is intentionally light-skinned for anything that is to represent America.

    This hasn’t got to do with bullish or bearish for me: it’s got to do with the rhetorical choices in both ads. Eastwood, and Chrysler, are being disingenuous if they assert that this ad isn’t political.

    (Oh, and given that Obama saved Chrysler a few years ago, nice stab in the back there.)

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink
  6. IL-08 wrote:

    Only those who see the world through the prism of politics would view this ad as political. When I saw it during the super bowl, I was waiting for the end to see if there was a political message at the end so I would know if I was supposed to like it (like the ray-gun commercial), but there was not.

    We are all so programmed to see a ‘pro-america’ message as a republican commercial, when we see on that has no political message, the right decides it must be leftist due to the lack of a rightist message. The left is willing to embrace because we’ve been called commies for the last 30 years, its nice to not be called anything.

    There were many more african-american faces in the Eastwood commercial than in the ray-gun commercial. In fact, I think there might have been only one in the ray-gun commercial, and I’m not really sure if there was even one. I think the Eastwood commercial had the madison avenue anointed correct demographic percentage of african-americans reflective of the country as a whole, not necessarily Detroit.

    As for Eastwood being light skinned, you might want to adjust your TV, he looked like the old weather beaten lizard voiced ex-mayor that we’ve always known.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Thought Dancer, I have to respectfully disagree. I had to watch it again just to count the ethnicity of all the faces. You say “most of those faces were white”. Well, duh. Did you want the majority of the faces to be black or some other color? At least from where I sit, they seemed to represent America.

    I also watched the Reagan ad, and I don’t see much similarity other than that they are both are about America. The Reagan one is decidedly negative and political. “Why would we want to return to where we were less than four short years ago” may be subtle, but it is definitely a dig on Carter. There is no such message in the Chrysler one, subtle or otherwise. The Reagan ad pretty much says “Reagan made American better, vote for him”. I saw no such political message in the Chrysler one (other than “the roar of our engines”, which could be a subtle message to buy big noisy American cars, and not quiet electric ones!).

    You can say that the Chrysler ad is corporate PR. Duh again. It is an advertisement!

    I should probably point out that I was and still am against all corporate bailouts and subsidies, including the rescue of the American auto makers. Yes, our bailout of the automakers worked and might have been a very good thing (at least in the short term) for the economy, but that’s like pointing to some benevolent dictator who got their country’s economy going again and claiming that shows that dictators are a good idea. In the long run, they aren’t.

    I agree with IL-08. If our knee-jerk reaction to positive messages about America is that they are political (or conservative), then progressives have allowed the conservative right wing to frame the debate again.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    In my mind if this had been an ad from Ford, would the left be thinking it a political attack on the establishment? I think because it was done by Chrysler it was viewed as pro establishment. (to be clear establishment being the current administration).

    Personally, I think it was a great ad and message about resiliency and moving forward. Besides I love most all of Eastwood’s work.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Brilliant response —

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  10. Rk wrote:

    According to Clint Eastwood, it wasn’t a political statement.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:

    Another article that doesn’t think the ad was political.

    Bonus quote: “I think you have to be almost troublingly obsessed with politics to see it through that lens. It’s not a political ad. It’s the trivia we’re talking about today because nothing else happened.” — Republican strategist Mike Murphy.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    RK, thanks for that link. That is the most enjoyable video I’ve seen of Bill O’Reilly ever!

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  13. Falkelord wrote:

    You guys are obviously overthinking this. Clint has made a shift to directing documentaries since his last acting role in “Gran Torino” (he says it’s easier on him). No, folks, you’re not seeing a hidden political agenda or a simple car commercial. It’s a teaser trailer for his new film, “Halftime In America.”

    It’s a biopic about those who lost it all in the housing crisis/economic collapse, documentation of the recovery efforts, and how America is still a strong country even after all that.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink