Chrysler Crossfire? Political Charger? Detroit Sunbeam? For the second year in a row, Chrysler made a political statement with a Superbowl ad that dominated a lot of water cooler talk on Monday.
It took a raspy Republican Hollywood actor who has said nice things this year about Ron Paul, but isn’t supporting any candidate, to make a nationalist point about U.S. industry, which was bailed out by the government several years ago – Karl Rove was offended by the ad even though his former boss set the bailout in motion – http://abcn.ws/ztbZUJ
The company, which received a bailout from the Bush administration, was overseen by the Obama administration and is controlled by Italian car maker Fiat, has made stroking the patriotic heart strings of Americans something of a cottage industry.
Chrysler Politics of the Past – Remember when they stuck George Washington behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger to pursue British troops in 2010 – “Here’s a couple of things America got right: cars and freedom.” Talk about a Tea Party motif from a bailed out company – http://abcn.ws/wMRqDe
In Other Auto Bailout News – Fisker Layoffs – Eastwood talked about the rebirth of Detroit, but the government has had more trouble helping new companies develop green autos – From Matthew Mosk at the Blotter – Fisker was one of a handful of auto companies to receive sizable federal loans to help support the birth of an electric car industry in the United States. As ABC News reported in October, Fisker’s efforts have been beset by delays. And despite benefiting from U.S. taxpayer support, the company had signed a contract with a firm in Finland to assemble its first generation electric vehicle, a flashy $97,000 sports coupe called the Karma. http://abcn.ws/xmGN9W
George Will Calls Football ‘A Mistake’ - http://abcn.ws/zzxu7a
Power Players – Champs at the WH – The Giants are sure to visit the White House and Jake Tapper takes this preemptive look at the tradition – the latest installment of our ABC News / Yahoo News Video Series – http://abcn.ws/yz4Bxn
Pete Hoekstra’s Super Bowl Ad – Clint’s Chrysler ad stoked some interesting debate. Pete’s ad, which aired in Michigan, was more universally controversial. Amy Bingham takes a look at the ad, which featured a woman of Asian descent talking about Debbie Stabenow and the outsourcing of jobs. http://abcn.ws/zMXvaE
Curse of the Romnino – Matt Dowd muses that maybe Mitt Romney is cursed with some bad luck – “Romney, through discipline, money, smarts and a weak field of GOP rivals, looks like he is going to be able to break the curse and win the nomination, but then bad luck strikes again. Just as he is about to secure the nomination for all intents and purposes, and focus full-bore on a president he and his campaign considered incredibly vulnerable, the economy begins to improve — and with it Obama’s poll numbers. Romney’s continuing attacks on Obama’s economic record in a time when indicators are improving seem, once again, out of step. It is a long way to Election Day, and many things can happen in the next 10 months, but it seems to me that Romney is snake-bit, and the curse that held sway over the Red Sox now is casting a dark shadow over another Massachusetts team.” http://abcn.ws/wNhINE
More from the ABC / WashPost Poll – From Gary Langer -
Good for Obama – Based on his roughly 14 percent tax rate on 2010 income of about $22 million, the public by a broad 66-30 percent says Romney is not paying his fair share of taxes; even nearly half of Republicans say so, as do half of very conservative Americans. The public by 53-36 percent, a 17-point margin, thinks Obama better understands the economic problems people are having. Obama leads Romney by 55-37 percent in trust to better protect the interests of the middle class, and remarkably, by 10 points, 52-42 percent, in trust to handle taxes.
Good for Romney - Despite job growth, Obama’s approval rating on creating jobs is flat this month at 44 percent. Just 38 percent approve of his handling of the deficit, while 58 percent disapprove, a serious weakness unless he can make the case that it was deficit spending that turned the economy. And fewer than half, 47 percent, approve of his handling of taxes. http://abcn.ws/A3R7xP
Pollster Position – Gary Langer answers some partisan accusations about the wording of our ABC News / Washington Post Poll – both on the merits of their problems, which he rebuts, and on ABC’s editorial policy – “pleasing any candidate is not our concern.” http://abcn.ws/yRh2N3
Romney Maintains Focus on Obama – “I’m afraid based upon the president’s own standards he has failed,” Romney said. “He does not deserve a second term.http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/romney-keeps-focus-on-obama-while-surrogates-slam-gop-rivals/
State Dinner – Obama to Honor Iraq Vets – The celebration will occur Feb. 29, two and a half months after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq. The evening will be themed “A Nation’s Gratitude” and is believed to be the first such event of its kind at the White House to mark the end of a major war. “A state dinner is the greatest honor a president can convey upon a head of state, and it was felt that the men and women who served in Iraq merited the same kind of honor and respect that you would give to a head of state,” said Douglas Wilson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. A hand-picked group of roughly 200 attendees selected proportionally from across all service branches, ranks and states are expected to attend, Wilson said. Military families, Gold Star families, wounded warriors will also attend. “The East Room on the evening of Feb. 29 will look like the Americans that served in Iraq,” he said. http://abcn.ws/wLlVyD
New Iran Sanctions – http://abcn.ws/z4uaEM
Paul’s Path – Ron Paul Says It’s ‘Hard to Say Exactly When’ He’ll Win a GOP Primary or Caucus – Though to be fair, he’s not running for Oracle-in-Chief. http://abcn.ws/zkyWFL
Delegate Math – In Terms of Delegates, Romney Has a Long Way to Go – Though some would say he has the race in the bag, Mitt Romney still needs over 1,000 more delegates to win the Republican nomination. http://abcn.ws/x8j9Mt