Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Super Bowl Ad Sparks Political Football

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Super Bowl Ad Sparks Political Football

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Perhaps the most attention-getting Super Bowl ad -- other than that dog blackmailing his owner with tortilla chips to keep quiet over a felinicide, of course -- was Clint Eastwood's paean to a resurgent auto industry in Detroit.

The ad featured Mr. Eastwood leveraging his cinematic persona to the hilt, emerging from the shadows while praising and challenging America at the same time.

"It's halftime in America, too," Mr. Eastwood rasped during halftime at the Super Bowl in a manner reminiscent of the Detroiter he played in "Gran Torino."

"Seems that we've lost our heart at times. The fog, the division, the discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right and acted as one. Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one," the actor and director said.

"All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And how do we win? Detroit's showing us it can be done. And what's true about them is true about all of us. This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do, the world's going to hear the roar of our engines."

The ad for Chrysler was intended to be a call for people of all ideological stripes to come together for the common good. But coming as it did at the dawn of a presidential election year and touching upon the highly controversial government bailout of automakers, it didn't take long for that "fog, division, discord and blame" to assert itself.

"Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad?" conservative pundit Michelle Malkin groaned on Twitter.

Meanwhile, David Axelrod, President Barack Obama's chief re- election strategist, cheered in a tweet. "Powerful spot," he said.

On Monday, Karl Rove, a key aide to then-President George W. Bush, said he was "offended" by the Eastwood ad, suggesting that the Obama administration had a role in its production. …

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