Over the weekend, one of the best Super Bowl commercials I've ever seen aired. It featured Clint Eastwood talking about how the auto industry, specifically Chrystler, is getting its legs back. This add fits into the theme of a handful of other inspirational adds put out by Chrystler, which portray Detroit as reemerging, and have featured Eminem, a native son of the Motor City, and his popular song "Lose Yourself". (A quick aside: this add reminds me a lot of my favorite motivational speech, one that should not come as a surprise for those who know me.)
This moving and patriotic commercial, though, has some on Right, such as House speaker John Boehner, calling foul, claiming the add was political in nature. For starters, Boehner, an emotional person to begin with, likely was in tears when Eastwood walked away from the camera.
In all seriousness, it upsets me that the some members of the Republican party (or anyone, for that matter) would suggest that this add was political, and somehow pro-Obama. This two minute clip wasn't about Democrats or Republicans, but about America and the resolve of our nation. "It was designed to deliver emotions and I don't think emotions have a party," said Oliver Francois, Chrysler's chief marketing officer and creator of the ad said in response to being questioned about its political overtones.
Manufacturing, especially in the auto industry, has been at the core of American since Henry Ford drove the first Model-T. Since then, Americans have always rallied around the industry as a source of resolve, strength and pride. Eastwood cements this point when he forcefully declares in his trademark voice, "This country can't be knocked out with one punch; we get right back up again, and when we do, the world's going to hear the roar of our engines". To infer something political out of this statement is crazy and is a perfect example of the bitter partisan politics that rule over Congress.
Eastwood's closing declaration, "Yeah it's halftime, America, and our second half's about to begin," reminded me a lot of a much more serious message that served as a rallying cry for the nation when it fell on tough times. On September 11, Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers were getting ready to rush the cockpit of of United Airlines flight 93. Before he and the other passengers made that heroic decision, Beamer said the following: "Are you guy's ready? Ok, let's roll." If you believe in what Eastwood was saying about America, then the country is ready. So what are we waiting for, let's roll.