Since we surely don't want to acknowledge the Giants or the Patriots here on a Philadelphia blog, I think it should be noted that the real winner of last night's Super Bowl was clearly Detroit. From the loved-it-hated-it halftime show by the Motor City's own Madonna Louise Ciccone to this racist political ad that aired in Michigan, it felt at times like it was Motown's world and we were just living in it.
And then there was the Clint Eastwood ad, "Halftime in America," which was ostensibly for Chrysler. In a year when an incredibly mediocre crop of "funny" commercials dealt a body blow to the proud notion of American ingenuiity, the only ad that anyone is really talking about was about as serious as a heart attack.
Liberals are orgasmic and conservatives are apoplectic about the two-minute tribute to the rescue and revivial of Chrysler from the eve of destruction in 2008-09. I think the existence of the ad is a more powerful message than the actual commerical, which seems a little overhyped and I didn't like as much as the Eminem ad in 2010 (which had, you know, that music). Conspiracy theorists will ask -- and well they should -- why the ad was entitled "Halftime in America" (yes, OK, it did air at halftime) when in an amazing coincidence President Obama is also running for a second term. It's also worth asking why Eastwood agreed to do the ad since he criticized the auto bailout a couple of years ago.
That said, I do think there's a big takeaway for the presidential race. All the Republican candidates who oppose the auto bailout need to do a better job explaining their alternative vision. Because in the reality-based world, I don't think there was one. Letting GM and Chrysler fail would have not just destroyed two iconic American companies and the lives of its workers but also would have wiped out hundreds of smaller businesses in the supply chain that populate the American Heartland. Instead. many of those jobs were saved and most of the money loaned to Chrysler was paid back.
And that is terrible...why?