Monday, February 06, 2012

GOP gets rabbit ears on the Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial

Republican Clint Eastwood is catching all kinds of grief for making a commercial for Chrysler saying that "It's time for the second half in America." Of course this aired during the Super Bowl, so the slogan was logical.

But beyond that, it clearly tags with Chrysler's comeback. They are trying to sell cars, and their comeback story is a big part of their sales campaign.

I don't see what the big deal is about it, but some Republicans are upset about the commercial, claiming that it is really about President Obama's re-election campaign and alludes to a second term. That of course is hogwash; the commercial is about selling cars.

This kind of paranoid overreaction does however say a lot about the psyche of a lot of the Republicans who are blasting it. They know that President Obama took a big risk and bailed out Chrysler and General Motors. It has in fact been a smashing success. Unemployment in the city of Detroit has shot down from over 16% when he bailed out the two auto companies to about 9% today. The city is making a comeback, and the resurgent auto industry is the main reason why. Republicans, including Mitt Romney, criticized the President for the bailout at the time. So now that Detroit is back they can't avoid seeing the credit going to the President. Maybe they'd prefer that Chrysler and General Motors not show off their successes until after the election?

They also know that this has been a good week for the president. Following the January jobs report in which almost a quarter of a million net jobs were created, new polls by ABC News and Rasmussen both have Pesident Obama jumping out to a statistically significant lead against Mitt Romney.

Having gambled on the economy failing, and doing everyting they could to obstruct and not cooperate with the President and make it clear they were being uncooperative, the GOP is now on the verge of getting caught in a political no man's land.

So the truth is that Karl Rove, Mark Steyn and some of the other Republicans who have jumped all over Clint Eastwood about this, are spooked. If they hear in the phrase, "second half in America" an echo of Reagan's "morning in America," maybe it's less that the message was overtly political as it is that they know they are on the wrong side of an improving economy, and their negativism won't last until November.

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