David Axelrod loved it. Karl Rove hated it . The entire political class was tweeting about it. But was Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” ad for Chrysler actually a pro-Obama message? In his gravelly “Dirty Harry” whisper, the star expouded upon how “people are out of work and they’re hurting. . . wondering what they’re gonna do to make a comeback.” And how “we all pulled together and now Motor City is fighting again.”
Praise for the auto bailout? Our colleague Emily Heil asked top political message-makers for their read.
“The best Obama-Biden ad of the season,” said Democratic admaker Joe Slade White. “It’s about strength, and comebacks and coming together.”
Another Democrat, J.B. Poersch of SKDK Knickerbocker, saw a more subtle political angle: “It’s very hard to separate [the president] from GM and Chrysler’s successes,” he said.
Nah, said Jon Downs, a partner at GOP firm FP1 Strategies: “It’s a pro-America ad,” that we’re all trying to read too much into.
As for Eastwood, whose politics are notoriously hard to pin down — well, he told told the L.A. Times last year that he’s a fiscal conservative who opposed the bailouts. The ad “wasn’t intended to have any political message,” his rep told us Monday, “but rather be one of American pride and job growth.”
Read more: Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad: What do political ad folks say?, 2/6/12