John Ransom

If you are keeping score at home it’s Chrysler $12.5 billion, NBC $12 million, with a taxpayer loss of $133 billion. Oh, and the city of Detroit is just minutes away, literally, from being more broke than Greece.

Look, I’m a sucker for marketing as much as the next guy, but I have a lot of friends who were rightly outraged by Chrysler’s political ad for the auto bailout that starred Clint Eastwood and aired at halftime on NBC during the Super Bowl. It was more than just the subverted boosterism for Obama that was outrageous. There were many levels of outrage for even discriminating tastes.

If you missed it, the commercial was a two-minute, Chamber of Commerce-type pitch for more government money to make America great, with, um, Detroit leading the way.

Sure; technically, it was well-produced with compelling visual images and the iconic narrative voice of Clint Eastwood.  The TV time alone cost Chrysler $12 million.

Chrysler came up $1.3 billion short paying the US Treasury, but they have money for junk-food like Super Bowl commercials.  

And it almost made me want to believe. But as Yahoo Autos points out: “There's no better example of the difference between sentiment and sentimentality, and just how many of us no longer notice.”

Because unfortunately, I’ve looked under the hood of the Detroit/Chrysler story the filmmakers are selling and this one’s a lemon.  

“I’ve always been very liberal when it comes to people thinking for themselves,” Eastwood told the Los Angeles Times back in November, “But I’m a big hawk on cutting the deficit. I was against the stimulus thing too. We shouldn’t be bailing out the banks and car companies. If a CEO can’t figure out how to make his company profitable, then he shouldn’t be the CEO.”

Think for ourselves, except when you are pitching policies you disagreed with three months ago?    

For those with a less acute political and financial antenna, let’s make this simple:


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.