About a week and a half ago we posted a Ford Motor Co. commercial that took a not-too-veiled swipe at the bailouts received by Ford's domestic competition, General Motors and Chrysler.
Ford driver "Chris":
“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me.”
If you clicked on the link, you would've found that the video has been removed by the user.
As part of a campaign featuring "real people" explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named "Chris" says he "wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," according the text of the ad, launched in early September.
"I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That's what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta' pick yourself up and go back to work."
That's what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early '09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can't have that.
The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.
In other words, where presidential politics and automotive marketing collide — clean, green, politically correct vehicles not included — the president wins and the automaker loses because the benefit of the battle isn't worth the cost of waging it.
Whether or not Ford supported and/or still supports the bailouts with respect to this situation is completely irrelevant. This represents yet another danger of corporatism/crony capitalism: the inherent thuggish nature of cronyism when the competition starts making you and your "winner", in the "picking winners and losers" schemes, look like a loser.
If you want just one more reason why the government should stay the hell out of private sector matters, count altering the business practices of the "competition" with innuendo and/or outright threats as that reason.
And we did warn driver Chris of his imminent proctology exam by the IRS. We would not want to be this guy, right now.