Halftime in America

Not only was this Chrysler ad the best of last night, but—as I noted on Twitter during the Super Bowl—it was an excellent pitch for President Obama’s re-election bid:

While it’s hard to make a bad advertisement with Clint Eastwood, this would be good even without “The Man With No Name.” The basic message is straightforward— it’s “halftime in America.” Yes, the country suffered a major setback four years ago, but we have the strength and reserve to press forward on the current path and succeed.

There are two things that make this a surrogate ad for the Obama campaign. First, is the idea that we shouldn’t give up now, where “give up” means “elect a Republican president.” Indeed, Obama used similar language in his pre-game interview with NBC News anchor Matt Lauer. “I deserve a second term, but we’re not done,” said Obama. “The key right now is to just make sure that we don’t start turning in a new direction that could throw that progress off.”

The second thing, as befitting a car commercial, is that it focuses on the revitalization of Detroit as a template for pushing the country forward. This echoes language the president used in his State of the Union last month:

Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.

We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.

Not only should you expect to hear more like this as the year continues, but don’t be surprised if the Obama campaign’s positive advertisements look and sound a lot like Chrysler’s.