Forget about the football game last night–I know I’m trying to. The halftime ad from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood was remarkable, though, not simply for it’s length and expense, but for its emotional power.
It’s halftime America, and our second half is about to begin.
It tapped something basic in the psyche of America: the idea that hard times don’t define us; that together we can do anything; that tomorrow is going to be better than today.
That sentiment was the hallmark of President Obama’s campaign in 2008 before withering under the onslaught of recession and heated healthcare debates. Joe Klein chronicled the loss of faith in a memorable story for Time magazine in October 2010. Klein wrote:
Topic A is the growing sense that our best days as a nation are behind us, that our kids won’t live as well as we did, that China is in the driver’s seat.
The sweet-spot in American politics this cycle will be found by the candidate who matches uncertainty and anxiety about the future with resolve, clarity, and, yes, hope.