Republicans hated it. Democrats loved it. And both sides agree that a Chrysler ad that ran during halftime of the Super Bowl gave a boost to President Obama's campaign.
The ad, featuring Clint Eastwood, praised the auto bailout:
A Chrysler ad aired during the Super Bowl Sunday night has inspired ire among some Republicans and admiration among some Democrats - with both sides seeing a political message that boosts President Obama.
In an ad touting the resurgence of the American auto industry, Clint Eastwood declared that it's "halftime in America and our second half's about to begin," which could be interpreted as a reference to Obama's second term.
The ad's themes seem to echo Obama's own argument that his administration brought the auto industry back from the brink of disaster.
"They almost lost everything," Eastwood says of Detroit. "But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again."
"I was, frankly, offended by it," said Karl Rove on Fox News Monday. "I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, 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."
(Most - but not all, if you include the loan made under the Bush Administration - of the money loaned to Chrysler has been paid back.)
"Agh. WTH?" tweeted conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. "Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad???"
Scenes from union protests in Wisconsin were used in the ad, but the messages on the signs were blurred out, perhaps to avoid the very politicization some Republicans see.
"Chicago style politics" indeed. The Democratic party in the Windy City holds up businesses who are granted licenses and permits in exchange for their supporting the party. You know it as "pay to play" but really, it's just old fashioned extortion.
To be accurate, it was not an auto company bailout. It was a bailout of the unions. No doubt a buyer would have been found for both GM and Chrysler - eventually. They would have continued making cars - but with decidedly less union participation.
Somehow, that didn't make it into the ad.