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Political Controversy Over Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl Commercial

An article about the recent furore over Chrysler’s commercial starring Clint Eastwood during the Super Bowl.

‘Do you feel lucky, Democrats, well do you’?

In the US an ad for the car manufacturer Chrysler, aired during the Super Bowl has unwittingly stirred up a political furore. The two minute commercial dubbed ‘It’s Halftime in America’ features veteran actor/director Clint Eastwood delivering a sort of pep talk to the country. Pundits across the political divide are debating the commercial’s intentions and subsequent ramifications.

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Staunch Republican supporters have derided the ad claiming it to be a thinly veiled affirmation for the Obama administration while Democrats have dismissed any political undertones. Eastwood, a well known libertarian and past Republican supporter along with the Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne have emphatically denied any political agenda.

With an election race looming on the horizon and the economy in the doldrums tensions are fraught and a supposedly innocuous commercial which can alternatively be politically construed, is just the spark to ignite political accusations and mud slinging.

Perhaps the controversy would never have arisen without the presence of a credible personality. If the ad used an unknown actor would it still have garnered such a reactionary response? Even without trying to recognise any inferred political rhetoric the commercial is blatantly nationalistic so at the very least Eastwood and co could be guilty of gross naivety.

This year’s Super Bowl viewing figures were unprecedented. In excess of 111 million Americans tuned in to watch the game and half time entertainment, no wonder the likes of Karl Rove are fuming.   Whether the commercial is truly non-partisan is up for debate but one thing is certain, Eastwood has certainly made President Obama’s week.  

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