Karl Rove & Conservatives’ Complaints About Clint Eastwood Ad Is Sour Grapes (VIDEO)

morning in americaI guess I'm not surprised at the outcry from conservatives about the "Halftime in America" Chrysler commercial narrated by Clint Eastwood. It's about America getting back on its feet -- but we all know Chrysler owes its own comeback to government bailouts. Still, the commercial covers some common ground we should all agree on. And it's an obvious homage to conservative icon Ronald Reagan's legendary "Morning in America" campaign ad!

If Chrysler's commercial seems supportive of the auto industry bailouts, we should remember who initiated that bailout: President Bush. Doesn't matter who started it, or who carried it through. It worked. Detroit is slowly getting back on its feet, and Chrysler and GM have repaid their loans. What's so controversial about celebrating that?


"It's morning again in America," Reagan's 1984 reelection ad begins. And we see men and women going to work, young couples getting married, families moving into new homes, and the American flag being raised by children. It's probably the most effective and memorable positive political ad in history.

"Halftime in America" is a nod to the football game, but it's also a mirror of that Reagan ad. Americans are going back to work. We've been through tough times, but we will fight back. The older-but-wiser tone is captured perfectly by Clint Eastwood's gravely voice. You know, Clint the fiscal conservative who voted for McCain in 2008?

Karl Rove is angry about the ad. He told Fox News he was offended by it, saying it's President Obama "using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best-wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they'll never pay back." Except, like I said, they did pay it back. And he's sort of backpedalling now, claiming it was actually the Obama administration who put a political cast on the commercial. Whatever. Meanwhile, if you want to talk about politics and Chrysler, let's not forget what Mitt Romney thought about the bailouts: "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Maybe he's changed his mind since then, too?

"Halftime in America" brings up the divisiveness in Washington. And it's true that the toxic climate in Washington is as strong as ever. But what we should be taking away from the commercial is the common values we all share. We all want to see Americans get back to work, and thrive. But hey, if being optimistic about America making a comeback is political, fine. This was a political ad. All of you opposed to the American auto industry bringing back manufacturing jobs, please raise your hands. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Did you make the connection between "Halftime in America" and "Morning in America"?


Image via avmorgado/YouTube

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