American Crossroads has a new ad out today, one that features a familiar face and voice — Clint Eastwood. Taking a distinctly more serious approach than his lighthearted, extemporaneous skit speech at the Republican Convention, Eastwood warns about rising dependence on China’s credit and the prospect of another four years of Barack Obama. America needs a turnaround artist, Eastwood says, and fortunately we have one at the ready:
The reference to China will play well in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I’d bet — and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this ad go into heavy rotation in those states, as well as Virginia and New Hampshire. Eastwood’s iconic status may or may not impress Obama voters, but among older independents, Eastwood might be quite effective. It’s a smart move to roll this out in the final two weeks.
After some testing, Crossroads found that potential audiences, who are often wary of celebrity endorsements, still appreciated Mr. Eastwood as an American icon and liked the idea of his appearance in the ad as long as it did not seem overdone. So while Mr. Eastwood narrates the entire ad, he appears on camera only at the very end.
Mr. Eastwood, in an e-mailed statement, explained his motives. “I did the ad because I’m concerned for our country,” he said. “I really believe Mitt Romney is the kind of leader we need right now. He’s an experienced businessman, and he knows how to work with people to fix problems. It’s time to give someone else a chance to fix our country.”
The ad starts running Wednesday in seven states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
Not Pennsylvania, as I first thought — but that could change, too.