It’s bad enough to watch bailed-out company after bailed-out company spend millions and millions of dollars for the most expensive TV advertising slots of the year. There were all those Chevy (GM) slots, as well as at least two for General Electric, whose financial arm survived 2008 in part because it received a federal guarantee of its debt valued at some $139 billion. At least GE didn’t cash in on that guarantee; GM is still part-owned by Uncle Sam and owes taxpayers some $25 billion according to a recent inspector general’s report. GM’s former financing arm, now known as Ally Financial, remains majority-owned by the federal government and owes about $12 billion.
But the halftime Chrysler commercial starring Clint Eastwood, describing America as being in its own “halftime,” was just overtly politicized. After all, what else could “halftime” have meant, in the year 2012, than halfway through the eight years Barack Obama would be president if re-elected this fall? I’m fairly certain it wasn’t a prediction that the country will break up circa 2248 A.D.
Chrysler of course has a right to political speech. But it would be nice if the company wouldn’t be so brazen about its leanings while still owing the entire country — left, right and center — billions of dollars.
– By Kyle Wingfield