Clint Eastwood Doesn't Think We Should Bail Out Car Companies Like Chrysler

Illustration for article titled Clint Eastwood Doesn't Think We Should Bail Out Car Companies Like Chrysler

The Clint Eastwood Super Bowl Ad was a pep talk for Detroit and a threat to those people who don't think automakers like Chrysler are capable of making a comeback. People like Clint Eastwood, who voiced his opposition to the auto bailout in very clear terms just a few months ago.


No one is going to put words in Clint Eastwood's mouth. The man is independent, tough, and has earned the right to speak for himself on issues like the bailout. So, here's what he told the Los Angeles Times just three months ago:

"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."

Now flash forward to yesterday's Super Bowl ad when he said this:

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

Yes, we all pulled together by bailing them out. We guess although he'd rather you didn't, but since you have, he's now willing to be the literal voice of the campaign championing a saved Chrysler.

A Chrysler he didn't want saved.

But hey, at least he donated the money he made from the ad to charity.



Well, he does have a valid point about GM and Chrysler's bankruptcies being the fault of decades of mismanagement by unqualified or arrogant CEOs. In Chrysler's case, the bad management was forced on them by a succession of two uncaring owners, in GM's case, it was entirely self inflicted.

Chrysler is now quite clearly in some of the most capable hands in the auto industry, and as the smallest and traditionally weakest of the Big Three, has made perhaps the most dramatic turnaround of all of them, and is now building the best cars it has in at least 15 years.

I'm less convinced by GM. They seem to still be run by a lot of the same career-long company insiders that got them into a lot of their troubles, and if anything, I think they were probably selling better and more compelling cars right before their bankruptcy than they are now.