By Dan O’Regan and Beth Curran
Recently the GOP has been arguing about someone who isn’t Ronald Reagan or a founding father. Clint Eastwood, famed western star, has recently been a topic of conversation among many of the presidential candidates.
Eastwood stirred up an already tense political environment with his appearance in the Chrysler commercial, “It’s Halftime in America,” which aired during Super Bowl XLVI. The advertisement garnered 6.8 million hits on YouTube. The message of the ad was simple: America needs to unite in order to rise out of the recession.
Although Eastwood claims no political affiliation, he has dabbled in politics in the past. He was the Republican mayor of Carmel-By-the-Sea, Calf. from 1986 until 1988.
“l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama,” Eastwood, an award-winning actor and director, said. “It was meant to be a message just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it.”
But the “Dirty Harry” star did not make the GOP’s day. Instead, his push for America to “come together” and begin our “second half” has been met with debate on both sides of the political spectrum.
Conservative critics, including Karl Rove, have perceived Eastwood’s rhetoric as an endorsement for President Obama’s bailout plan, to the delight of some Democrats. It is unclear, however, why prominent politicians are so concerned with Chrysler ads starring former movie cowboys.
Let’s look at the facts. This was a commercial paid for by Chrysler. While Eastwood delivered the message, he did not write the script. Poet Matthew Dickman and Smith Henderson did that, and David Gordon Green — of “Pineapple Express” fame —
directed it. At the end of the day, Chrysler is really looking to sell their cars and make more money.
The commercial used Detroit as a segway to rally Americans. Our country is in a state of disarray because of political extremism, partisanship and the debt crisis. The fact that politicians have responded to this ad positively and negatively drills Eastwood’s point home.
As Abraham Lincoln famously stated, “A house divided cannot stand.”
These words are as true today as they were during the tumult of the Civil War.
Eastwood’s message is more logical than most of the nonsense spit by majority of the republican candidates. We need to work together to make progress in this country. We need to stop fighting and start focusing our energy on the things that matter. Bipartisanship is the only solution to America’s problems.
Something has to change in this country. Why not compromise about it?’