According to the latest reports, Chrysler's most recent Super Bowl XLVI commercial featuring Clint Eastwood has sparked innumerous debates about whether it talks about America's most economically distressed city or if it is a campaign ad for President Barack Obama and how the auto industry can only be the way out.
The ad from Chrysler, known as Halftime in America, is 2-minute long and describes how Detroit is a model city for the road towards the great American recovery. Eastwood describes how the struggling American automobile industry is a big step towards the country's recovery. During the commercial, the video shows a host of idealistic middle-class families and workers battling it out.
The ad has been heavily criticized by Conservative and GOP strategist Karl Rove who feels that the ad is a not-so-thinly disguised support of the federal government's auto industry bailouts. He said that he was offended by the ad although the ad was extremely well made and Rove being a Clint Eastwood fan. He added that the ad was a product of Chicago-style politics.
It's halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared, because this isn't a game. The people of Detroit know a little something about this, Eastwood says in his trademark voice. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.
The commercial's political instigation clearly depends on perspectives. It varies from people to people and how they view the current scenario of American politics and the common man's role in it.
Another burning question that has been making rounds all over the country is if the ad secretly talks about a city which is facing tough fiscal disarray with a $200 million budget deficit and cash-flow anxieties that have it fending off a state takeover.
However, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne refuses to comply with any such political pressure and misunderstandings and says that he cannot stop someone from associating with the message in the ad, and it doesn't have any kind of hidden political message within it.
Last year, Chrysler made an amazing turnaround after it nearly collapsed in 2009. The company (along with its financial arm) needed a hefty $12.5 billion government bailout and bankruptcy protection to survive. Since then, the company has repaid its U.S. and Canadian government loans by refinancing them. However, the U.S. government says that it lost about $1.3 billion on the deal.
Nonetheless, President Obama's spokesperson Jay Carney has assured that that the White House had no hand in the commercial according to a Chicago Sun Times report.
Eastwood concludes the ad by saying: This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.