Is Dirty Harry a shill for the re-election of President Obama? Go ahead punk, make his day! Is Chrysler’s “Halftime in America,” ad featuring Clint Eastwood, pay back to the president for the automaker’s bailout and forced marriage with Fiat?
Flame-thrower Michele Malkin ripped Eastwood’s magnificent Super Bowl “Halftime in America” ad as nothing more than a plug for the auto bailout. The highly self-esteemed Fox News’ pundit Bill O’Reilly will drive home that point tonight in a program that includes media savvy PR man Mike Paul.
With all due respect to conservatives, George W. Bush, to his ever-lasting credit, got the ball rolling on the auto bailout. Newly elected Obama then took the wheel and put in another $30B into the $20B pot that went to General Motors, kicked out GM’s entrenched boss Rick Wagoner and hooked Chrysler up with its Italian partner.
The results speak for themselves. The Wall Street Journal’s front page today reports that GM “has set its sights on a once-unthinkable goal: making more than $10B a year” and plans to re-open the Spring Hill, Tenn., plant that once produced the Saturn brand to reach that goal. For its part, Chrysler reported a $183M profit in 2011, its first yearly net income since 1997. More importantly, America’s industrial heartland, along with unbailed-out Ford Motor—which would have gone belly-up with the collapse of its parts supplier network--got a new lease on life. America should be proud, not bitter about the outcome.
Eastwood talked about how Detroit “almost lost everything” but pulled together. He believes the same can be true for a hurting, out-of-work America that is wondering what it can do to make a comeback because “we are all scared and this isn’t a game.” Success can be had if America overcomes the division, discourse and blame and rallies around what is right, according to the ad.
When Eastwood, former Republican Mayor of Carmel, Calif., says the “second-half is about to begin,” he’s referring to the revitalized U.S. economy that can pull us out of the doldrums if we put aside petty partisan attacks from know-nothings like Malkin and O’Reilly. It’s time for the nation to pull together. We’ve been sniping and divided for way too long.