Halftime America! Clint Eastwood Makes It All Better! Ugh.

I thought this commerical was well-made. Who doesn’t like Clint, right?

But the ad invites criticism. Would Dirty Harry ask for a handout? Hell no, he wouldn’t. He could build a car made out of his melted Smith and Wesson handgun, all while eating a sandwich and zinging bad guys with one-liners.

So, bringing in the city of Detroit as some city on the ‘comeback’ after being knocked down, and blah blah blah, was a bit disingenuous as it fails to mention they knocked themselves out.  Detroit and the American car industry would not have made it to ‘half-time’ if it wasn’t for the Bail-Out ™.  They were carried by the taxpayer to half-time, beaten and bruised by building inferior products, bloated management and union mismanagement and over-the-rainbow promises to it’s retiring workforce. People will debate for years whether the bail-outs work, and I’m no expert. The point of this post is that having cool music and the coolest American film icon in a commercial about American ‘can do’ is a bad idea when you bring a failure of a company like GM/Chrysler/Chevrolet.

Both Bush and Obama are to be blamed/credited for the various bail-outs which rewarded those industries who behaved (and will continue to behave) in a reckless manner, knowing that they have a safety net in the brain-dead taxpayers via the federal government.  If America was hit and is readying for a comeback, it’s only because it allowed itself to get hit. The economy isn’t some otherworldly force that visited us by random chance and gave the United States a concussion.  Americans, rich and poor, in and out of Detroit, in and out of government, acted stupidly in spending and borrowing.

So, it was nice to see Clint talk about how America will soon roar back (easier said than done), but when I think of Detroit and the auto-industry, I think of  bailouts, the U.S. taxpayer being on the hook for a company that refuses to change, a company that thought the Chevy Volt was a good, affordable idea.

America will roar back in spite of Detroit, thank you very much.  The rest of us will pick up the slack so crappy car or solar-energy producing companies can exist and disappear and reappear depending upon who is in the White House.


(update: thanks go Instapundit for sharing the post this evening!)

Further update: I’ll let the other sites, like Big Hollywood, to provide more info on this issue, where Eastwood is distancing himself from any political tones or intentions that the Chrysler commercial has.  If I don’t post (approve) your comment, it’s only because I think the few dozen listed are enough to provide several viewpoints and moderating comments isn’t on my Bucket List.

26 thoughts on “Halftime America! Clint Eastwood Makes It All Better! Ugh.

    1. I don’t think he’s washed up, and he’s allowed to change his political beliefs, but not without everyone noticing how he’s changed, given that many of his characters represented self-sufficiency, do-it-yourself ethos.

      1. Clint Eastwood is one of the greatest actors and directors that this country has ever produced. He is still producing movies that are relevant and well loved. Washed up and has been? I’m offended by the very statement. Clint Eastwood is one of the best this country has to offer and will always have my respect for his work and for his morals.

    2. Washed up has been?? How are things back in the cave you’ve been in for the last 62 years. Maybe that’s why you still think your surrounded by “fascists”.

    3. the UAW has destroyed 3 car companies, the city of detroit and perhaps the whole state of michigan. Clint would have been more true to himself and his image had he injected a line about greedy workers who, when they go out on strike, could be replaced by other hard working people willing if not eager to work for half their salary but are protected from that by use of government force.

  1. Well said, Clint seems to have gotten a tad bit …soft?

    Not sure, but it almost felt like a stump speech for Obama, lets give the ole’ gipper another 4 years too get it right.

    God forbid!!

    Nice piece and posted.

    1. Walt Kowalski built and drove a 1972 Ford Gan Torino.

      Walt certainly would have taken pride in Ford refusing a bailout.

      With that ad, Chrysler appeared to co-opt old Walt’s memory.

  2. Good Lord! When I think of Clint, I think of the great Spaghetti Westerns ( “A Fist Full of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More, “The Good, Bad and the Ugly”). How far we have come from his great stuff. Sigh.

    Even his military stuff (“Where Eagles Dare”) appeals to me now. But this!?!?!

    Oh my.

  3. Chrysler is majority owned by FIAT SPa of Italy.

    Therefore, to bash Chrysler is to bash a foreign corporation.

    How is that unpatriotic ??

    I suspect old Clint is suffering from some of those age related issues.

  4. A) A great ad. A memorable ad. A standout ad.

    B) The kind of pep talk presidents would be happy if they could equal.

    C) Clint is a rock. He is no more a has been than Ronald Reagan. Tell me who out Clint’s Clint these days then.

    D) The auto industry didn’t invent the Community Reinvestment Act, sit in banking committees telling regulators not to worry about Fannie and Freddie, repeal Glass Stegall, or freeze bank lending.

    E) They are making many drool-worthy products that don’t leave me wishing to drive foreign at all. It’s been a long long time since American companies were pumping out rusting uninspired Grenadas.

    F) Compare this ad to Fiat’s [that perennial Italian bailout recipient]. First, curse a certain president for giving Chysler away, and secondly it will be a long long time before Italian Fiats are anywhere near as desirable as the females that model in their ads.

  5. For some reason everybody has this idea that Chrysler and GM needed bailouts because their vehicles were unpopular and not selling, but that wasn’t the case at all. Demand was high before the bankruptcies and people wanted Dodges and Chev’s.

    But nobody could get credit.

    Primary lenders GMAC and Chrysler Financial screwed up with stupidly high lease amortizations, dabbling in the housing market, etcetera, and got hit hard in the collapse. Other lenders tightened up and soon it was tough to get a car loan anywhere.
    This affected not just GM and Chrysler, but Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, and so on, were all hurting.

    Ford took an early bailout in ’09 to the tune of only $5.9 billion and a 33 billion bank loan, fed guaranteed, allowing it to now play sanctimonious hypocrite later on.
    Toyota coasted by on an old and increasingly undeserved reputation for quality, allowing it to keep charging more for less and make a large profit. In addition it didn’t have the UAW metastasizing through everything.

    So they all got hurt, and it was all due to available credit. It had absolutely nothing to do with product demand. And for GM and Chrysler who had UAW cancer and flailing primary lenders it was fatal.

    1. The ATVM loan program by the DOE was a program to aid many manufacturers, including Ford, Tesla, Nissan, and Fisker in retooling and producing more fuel-efficient models. It was NOT part of the bailout program, and to call it that is disingenuous at best. Notice that non-US manufacturers benefited also. Now I think that the US government shouldn’t have bailed out Chrysler and GM; I also think that the DOE should not have given out these grants. This type of market distorting interference is what the government does “best”. What annoys me is when people describe this as “crony capitalism”. Well they get that partially right. It’s cronyism all right. But there’s nothing capitalist about it.

    2. It’s not about demand being high. It’s about demand for your vehicles being higher than the demand for the stuff you use to make them. It wasn’t at GM or Chrysler. It was at Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia.

  6. I tend to lean to the right sometimes, but I’m not really an Eastwood fan. Having endured the commercial twice, I disagree that Eastwood is asking for a handout. It was a general pep talk to America, that’s all. Although with generality, those with axes to grind, can interpret it anyway that suits them.

  7. I will never, ever buy either a Chrysler, GM or Ford product ever again. Take money from the government, because (like the government) you’re too much of a p*ssy to make those hard decisions…or you ran your company into the ground because you were too greedy to work with the company (UAW)…and you deserve to go bankrupt…not get a bail out.

    I’ll buy Toyota, Nissan or Honda (which are mostly built here now) before I’d buy any of the US “Big THree”.

  8. Hey, I liked the spot. As it was playing, I thought it might be an ad for a GOP candidate.

    That’s the halftime adjustment I’m proposing, lets put Obama on the bench and get Romney or Gingrich (or Santorum?) on the field.

  9. Flabulouse- Ford did not ‘take’ a loan. It was forced to accept a loan in order to provide Obama with the pretense that the car industry, not just GM, was being rescued. Ford said they didn’t need government money and were assured they be very sorry if they refused to play the ‘Rescue’ game. Blame Bush for starting wth teh various rescue boondoggles and Obama for making them mandatory.

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  11. I am pretty much not impressed with the ad. You see, for me, I can’t get on board with any actor’s sales pitch. Why on earth would I get on fire or motivated by the man that based on his abilities has become an Icon in the industry? Seems to me, I reward him by my $’s for how he is best able to lie to me.

    That is how all actors/actresses are. We pay them to lie to us, as acting is pretending to be something else. The better they are, the more A list they become. Becoming an A list actor only means they are the best bs’ers in the game.

    So why would I buy into any political message he has to sell? I will stick to liking Clint for his movies and be thankful that I understand~that he himself~may no longer know when or how to sell us on his beliefs as he has been a sponge for whatever script comes his way.

  12. I expected Clint to end the spot with: “so, if you liked the Dodge Neon, you’ll LOVE the Dodge Dart.. we hardly expect that to be recalled more than 2 or 3 times…”

  13. Wait a minute… Detroit roared back last year. I know they did, I saw it in a Super Bowl ad last year, so it MUST be true. Why do they need to roar back again this year?

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