Clint Eastwood gave us the most striking political ad aired during the Super Bowl. But aside from Chrysler, who benefits from the TV spot? On Monday, Republicans seemed to think President Barack Obama:
“I was, frankly, offended by it,” said Karl Rove on Fox News Monday. “I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”
Eastwood is 81. But it may still be dangerous to imply that Dirty Harry can be bought off by “Chicago-style” politics or is one of Obama’s minions. And yet, just last November, Eastwood said this to the Los Angeles Times:
“I’ve always been very liberal when it comes to people thinking for themselves,” said Eastwood, who supports gay marriage, abortion rights and environmental protection. “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.”
When it comes to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, if Eastwood is enthusiastic about anyone, it’s Herman Cain. “I love Cain’s story,” he says. “He’s a guy who came from nowhere and did well, obviously against heavy odds. He’s a doer and a straight-talker, which I don’t see enough of from either party.”
He’s not as bullish on Mitt Romney. As a film icon, Eastwood has been fiercely protective of his image, but he’s not especially enamored by that attitude in a politician. When Eastwood was in Massachusetts in 2002, filming “Mystic River,” Romney was running for governor there. “I saw a lot of him and you have to admit — he looks like a president,” Eastwood recalled with a tone that you’d have to describe as being slyly sarcastic. “I mean, if you were casting a movie where you needed someone to play president, you’d definitely pick him.”
The Michigan presidential primary, incidentally, is Feb. 28.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider