I thought that the Clint Eastwood “It’s Halftime in America” ad was good, but a little over the top. Whatever else it was, or was perceived to be, it was a car commercial, and frankly it has never seemed to me particularly wise to associate the fortunes of a car company with the country as a whole. Though it is something of a tradition.
I admit that the “halftime” metaphor certainly does suggest a parallel with the fortunes of President Obama–even though really it is only late in the second quarter for his Presidency–but given the grand, “American” imagery of the ad, it almost seemed like it was implying that it’s halftime for the country itself. Which struck me as vaguely unsettling; for why does a car company feel itself qualified to put a 472-year lifetime on the country?
Anyway, Clint Eastwood himself is a libertarian, but, perhaps more relevant in this case, he is an actor. Actors are, after all, paid to say things they don’t necessarily believe. Karl Rove, meanwhile, says he was “offended” by the ad, saying:
“I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”
First of all, since when is this “Chicago-style”? I understand that Chicago politics are supposed to be very corrupt, but show me somewhere where the politics aren’t corrupt. Moreover, the really good televised political propaganda tends to occur more at the national level, so I’m not sure what his point is. But never mind.
Secondly, I suspect that this will more than make up to the Republicans for any “corporate advertising” that so-called “political minions” may get.
Lastly, while I don’t think it was intended as an Obama campaign ad, if it was, it was a terrible time to do it. The voting public will have forgotten all about anything that happened in February by election day.