I endorse growly Clint Eastwood’s vision for America

Keeping up with my car theme today, this Chrysler ad with Clint Eastwood was probably my favorite Super Bowl commercial.

I say that for a few reasons. 1) It wasn’t stupid or directed at people who are, which is enough these days. 2) It recognized that in a down economy you don’t scream at people to buy Chryslers; you convince them to feel good about buying cars. 3) The fact that so many are reading political overtones in the ad tells us a lot about the state of the country.

I’ll focus on that last part. First, in the ad Eastwood makes no specific political references whatsoever. The monologue suggests that America has known trouble in its history (true), that we “pull together” after the hard times (eventually maybe), and that it’s “halftime” and that our best days are ahead (unknowable, but who cares). The only real issue one could make is that he says Detroit is “back,” which is based on the fact that American automakers are entering fiscal solvency and selling more cars than before. Detroit as a city still has some problems, though it is a fair argument to say it’s making positive progress.

The ad has been called a “gift” to President Obama’s re-election campaign, which is also funny. Eastwood, a longtime Republican, endorsed McCain in 2008. He has said a few complimentary things about the president but is certainly no loyalist. That was a shrewd move by Chrysler, to find an ass-kicking Republican that Democrats also like. But what it boils down to is that if you have a problem with this ad you have a problem with the abstract concept of hope. This is not an easy political position from which to operate.

If this ad had aired in 1984 Democrats would have complained that it was an endorsement for the re-election of President Reagan. Today, Democrats love that ad and Republicans grumble. Chrysler doesn’t endorse presidential candidates. Chrysler endorses selling cars. Cars sold means presidents get re-elected. Always has. 


  1. Italian cars never have been reliable. I’d bet on the Germans, Japanese or Koreans…and of course, Ford.

  2. My other car is a Ford (true story!) I enjoyed the Fiat ad as well, although for entirely non-mechanical reasons.

  3. I liked the ad. Didn’t Detroit run a similar themed ad last year with Eminem?

    I also agree with the message. America is strong, we have a lot of great things going for us, there is lots of hope for the future.


  4. Hope springs eternal…what’s needed and coming is change. Once the Food Stamp President is gone, we’ll be fine.

  5. I think that’s due in 2016. Be patient. You’ll get your wish.

    Ahhhhhh – just have some fun! 🙂

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