Whose Day Did Clint Eastwood Make?

Once again, Mitt Romney was not the story at the 2012 Republican National Convention and it was HIS night.  The highlight, or more appropriately, the low light, which has everyone talking is Clint Eastwood’s one man act with an empty chair who was supposed to be an invisible President Obama. Eastwood talked to the chair periodically, and heard the President tell him to shut up: “I am not going to shut up, it is my turn.” I think some of the GOP operatives were probably wondering why they gave him a turn at all, especially in prime time. At one point when talking about Romney, he told the invisible President, “I can’t tell him to do that to himself…you’re crazy…you’re getting as bad as Biden”.  No, actually, it was Clint who was getting about as bad as it can get.  He was grumpy and unfocused; a real train wreck.  He rambled about Gitmo and Afghanistan, as if he were giving a foreign policy speech and then bashed Obama for being a lawyer.

The whole performance was bizarre.  The audience of course loved it, or seemed to anyway.  Maybe they were starstruck, but they laughed and I’m sure some of the operatives were laughing nervously, because clearly Clint was not scripted; his remarks seemed to be delivered extemporaneously like a jazz soloist.  And he is a jazz fan.

My question is why they allowed him a prime time spot?  I actually thought it was a joke initially.  I didn’t even know Eastwood was conservative, and thought he may have crashed the convention, or paid some money to promote his latest movie.

He ended with “ok, you want to make my day?” and the crowd yelled “make my day”.  It’s not clear how he meant the line from the movie Dirty Harry.  Was he daring Independents to vote for the President, or was it just a cheap line for a laugh? However it was intended, it appears that he actually did the Democrats a favor by overshadowing Mitt on Mitt’s night.  Quite literally, he made Team Obama’s day.

5 Responses

  1. I read this today and couldn’t stop laughing..Liberal columnist Jamelle Bouie, who tweeted “This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.”

  2. Clint is a confirmed Libertarian. He is not a Republican, nor a Democrat.
    He did the “Make My Day” remark to shut the woman up who was continually screaming that at him and disturbing the entire convention.
    You’re right Rob, he should have been scripted, or at least better prepared. His points were being lost in the ramble.

  3. If he had formally auditioned for the prime time speaking role, I think the convention planners would have respectfully passed or put him on at 5:00 or something. Really bad job of vetting.

  4. I poked fun of this at the end of my blog today but I will say, he was just doing something typical in theater. In my theater background we used to do exercises like that all the time. Really the big problem with it was they failed to connect those dots as well as the basically presented their party as actors.

    I am not saying which part of the party lines I fall on. I can completely see why the Dem. are celebrating this and the Rep. feel justified. Either way, it makes fun fodder for those of us who write comedy. It was a mistake but I am sure by the time this is over we will have mistakes on both sides. I am sure when Saturday Night Live comes back they will have a field day.


  5. Well, the lowbrow humor was disrespectful to the President and Eastwood’s points (if there even were any) were not at all in synch with the messaging strategy designed by the party operatives. True Dems will have a field day – I blogged about it – but they had better not make too much of it, or it will surely come back to haunt them. Best for all to move forward.

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