Why Eastwood? Look at the map

posted at 11:21 am on August 31, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

As I mentioned in my last post, I missed part of the line-up last night.  I got back just in time to see Clint Eastwood offer up one more “Make my day,” and then watch the deluge of criticism roll across Twitter.  It continues today at Time Magazine, where Michael Grunwald calls it a “train wreck,” and goes a little Chris Matthews for good measure:

 Oh my. Romney’s speech sounded fine, and Marco Rubio seemed quite eloquent, but honestly, all I can think about is Dirty Harry scolding an invisible president in a chair for making an anatomically impossible suggestion. We had heard there would be a surprise guest tonight, but apparently, the surprise was a surprise to the surprise guest. You know how reporters always complain that conventions are too scripted? Eastwood was the first thing on network TV tonight, and oh, it wasn’t scripted. It wasn’t rehearsed. It wasn’t sane. …

There was one semi-disturbing moment, when Clint screamed “We own this country!” He got a standing ovation for that one, and it’s possible that the virtually all-white crowd was picking up a bit of Gran Torino you-know-what-I-mean-by-we. But I would chalk it up to incoherence rather than malice, because that was definitely the theme of his soliloquy.

The “sane” world understood that as a reference to the taxpayers as opposed to the political class, actually, and the theme of Gran Torino wasn’t a paean to xenophobia, either.  In fact, that’s nearly a direct antithesis of its message.  It doesn’t get much better over at National Journal’s roundup of reactions, either:

The reviews continue to pour in on Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National convention Thursday night, and “mixed” might be a charitable way to put it. One prominent Republican, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, said that he “cringed” at the performance.

Walker, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, echoed the sentiments of many when he said he would have preferred to see more testimonials from people talking about Romney. “Frankly I would have rather seen that than Clint Eastwood,” he said. …

Eastwood’s performance, a rambling 12-minute discourse that featured the legendary actor and Oscar-winning director talking to an empty chair that represented President Obama, dominated Twitter and other social media sites.

The Romney campaign explained it best:

“Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it.”

Perhaps the initial reaction from people came from the immediacy of the moment, and an expectation that a lifelong entertainer had come to do something other than, er, entertain.  Plenty of criticism in my Twitter feed came from people who support Mitt Romney, too.  But having watched it this morning, after all of the drama has passed, I actually thought Eastwood was … pretty funny.  It was refreshing to get that break from all of the seriousness of the three days in Tampa.  The clucking of tongues over Eastwood’s “I can’t do that to myself” as inappropriate is almost laughable, considering what passes for humor these days in the US.  Eastwood intended this to be irreverent, spontaneous, and fun. If you didn’t get at least three laughs out of that 11-minute segment, you’re taking life too seriously.

If I can riff like that on national TV at the age of 82, believe me, I’ll be happy.

One criticism is more substantial, which is that this kind of break from seriousness should have been scheduled earlier in the evening.  That misses the point of having Eastwood on the stage at all.  Michael Walsh explains it at the New York Post:

To see why the choice of Clint Eastwood as the surprise guest speaker at last night’s close of the Republican Convention was so brilliant, look at the electoral map. …

In other words, the Heartland Campaign is not simply about Electoral College votes. It’s also a way to frame the Democrats as the out-of-touch party of the status quo — i.e., Big Government — at a time when Big Government has so signally failed the average American.

If it works — and if a Romney administration can successfully grapple with the debt bomb, the entitlement crisis and growing government dependency — it could set back the Democrats’ prospects for years to come.

Which brings us back to Eastwood. In such films as “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “High Plains Drifter,” he’s the embodiment of rugged, rebellious heartland values.

And those cranky, cantankerous, all-American voters are just who Romney & Ryan need to defeat the coastal elites and return America to its heartland roots.

Besides the Heartland Strategy, the RNC and Team Romney was using the Eyeball Strategy.  They needed to reach people who might not have otherwise tuned in to the Republican convention to see Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney.  That means putting their Eyeball Strategy in play directly before Rubio.  Now, perhaps some people who tuned in to see Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood speak tuned out after (or even during), but it’s a no-lose strategy.  They wouldn’t lose anyone who tuned in to see Romney and Rubio anyway, and there’s a very good chance that most of the people who tuned in for Eastwood stuck around for Rubio and Romney afterward.  If they did, they saw two terrific speeches and perhaps had their minds opened about Romney after Barack Obama’s summer of vilification.

That’s brilliant. As for the handwringing over Eastwood’s extemporaneous riff, I can only say this:

Update: David Harsanyi concurs:

And speaking of the mildly curious voters … Though many of them may enjoy and admire someone like George Clooney, they probably don’t relate to him. Clint, on the other hand, cuts through generations and fan bases. He’s about as close to universally liked as a celebrity can get. This is why Chrysler used his voice.  Eastwood’s appearance will do nothing to amuse those who take their politics too seriously, but he certainly lightened up what is by nature an artificial and highly-scripted event. No, Eastwood didn’t lay out an eloquent, bullet-point argument against Barack Obama’s economic policies, what he did was convey a prevalent sentiment in nonpartisan language that a lot of people who don’t care much about politics can relate to.

Morning Spew adds this:

What is most humorous is that by presenting in a seemingly unscripted manner, Eastwood masterfully uses his craft to interact with all voters in a playful, personal way and squarely hits his mark.  His performance caught the liberal main stream media off guard because they didn’t understand the intent of his speech, and so in their haste to destroy all things Romney, they’ve dutifully trashed Eastwood’s appearance.  What the liberal pundits do not realize (yet) is that by trashing Mr. Eastwood speech, they have simply helped to bring more attention to Eastwood’s message: Obama must go.

I think most people will see this is a lark, and react accordingly.


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It’s also an appeal to seniors.

Eastwood is talking a little slower these days, with a little more “uhhs,” etc., than when he was younger. Still, I hope my dad’s still that sharp when he’s 82. But if Obama’s people take the bait and hit back at him with age-ist snark, that will reveal Democrats’ true disrespect for the elderly.

Alex_SF on August 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Some good comments from other threads

If Obama and his cronies want to wage a war against an American Icon like Clint Eastwood, it’s a war that’s already lost.

sentinelrules on August 31, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Clint’s empty chair, much as the left thinks it was a disaster, was brilliant. I mean that. Obama the Unmockable has been mocked. The mock barrier has been broken down.

MaxMBJ on August 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

All white?

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on August 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

There was so much truth and sarcasm in that empty chair. It represented the Obama presidency.

AubieJon on August 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

There was one semi-disturbing moment, when Clint screamed “We own this country!” He got a standing ovation for that one, and it’s possible that the virtually all-white crowd…

It’s like Tourette’s.

MadisonConservative on August 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

The elites in this country are now so disconnected from reality and common sense it is beyond parody. It’s like we’re dealing with a segmented, institutionalized madness. And they just keep gathering speed in their mad, fevered sanctimony. Where does it all end? Can they just spontaneously combust?

rrpjr on August 31, 2012 at 11:27 AM

We noticed similarly last night, it gets better with repeated viewing. Meanwhile, if the left wants to try to mock Eastwood, let them try. I sense a thin-skinned President not all that pleased by being called a failure for ten minutes straight by a living legend that he can’t possibly try to lecture into submission.

Gingotts on August 31, 2012 at 11:27 AM

As I said on twitter:

Clint Eastwood=Genius: Empty Chair, Empty Suit, Empty President and an Invisible Leader.

bzip on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Oh, and by the way Clyde,

WE OWN THIS COUNTRY !

Not the politicians,
Not the bureaucrats
Not the media.

WE OWN IT !

FlaMurph on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Have to admit…I was one of those that found it cringe-worthy at first blush, too. But, watched it again this morning, and appreciate it a little more. Something a little more scripted would’ve worked better, I think, and it seemed odd to go from the heartfelt testimonials into that, but it was OK.

changer1701 on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Those democrats… They just don’t get us…

Mothers Finest on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

the virtually all-white crowd was picking up a bit of Gran Torino you-know-what-I-mean-by-we

These people are psychotic. Race-obsessed people like this should be forced into therapy.

The Rogue Tomato on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Which brings us back to Eastwood. In such films as “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “High Plains Drifter,” he’s the embodiment of rugged, rebellious heartland values.

yep. and he’s got great quotes. He redeemed his superbowl “halftime in america” thing last night.

+2012 max blogger points for the Stripes vid, Ed.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

If there is one thing the RNC accomplished besides nominating Romney, it has succeeded in unhinging the liberal left mainstream media to the “foam-at-the-mouth/tear-the-couch-cushions-with-bare-teeth/rip-the wallpaper-down-with-fingernails” level of insanity.

pilamaye on August 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Perfect clip

cmsinaz on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

If only Obama were wise enough:

“A man’s gotta know his limitations” -Dirty Harry

wildcat72 on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Obama will just get Morgan Freeman next week for his convention.

Maybe Morgan will bring along his grand-daughter/wife.

sentinelrules on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Let’s see-whew this is a whole lotta lemons…

Lemonade stand is open for business!

tommyhawk on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Eastwood was hysterical. Loved it. And all those seniors who loved Newhart got the talking to the empty chair or the empty suit that is Obama. The leftie comedians have been attacking Republicans for 4 years. Time Obama got some back, especially since Eastwood was right on.

katieanne on August 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Ed, I will add that I heard Eastwood’s schtick on the radio driving home from a meeting. It was a thing decidedly not made for radio. I had no idea who he was talking to, I thought he was muttering to a heckler and I thought to myself, “this is going badly.” Once I got home, flipped on the toob and saw the chair and it made sense.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I loved it…not maybe for the content, but it was a break from the molded, scripted speeches . Those were necessary, and I get it…but a little fun, a different take, a break away from the “mold” is something the Republican’s have never done very well.

Clint was the perfect man, an icon, 82 years old, and he took shots at Obama that no one dares call him a racist.

In a multi-day event, one happening like this is great…and it keeps the energy and the event relevant by forcing people to talk about it.

Every one who mentions Clint, will also remember the others, just like Ed did by saying he wished there were more personal stories instead.

That is what he did, Clint stirred the pot…and the Republican’s need to stir the pot.

right2bright on August 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

set phasers to DEFMOCK ONE

Clint broke that barrier last night. He went there…..and by ‘there’ you know what I mean, francis.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I too,at first, was reacting with cringe, especially since I was listening to that on the radio.

Now I think to get the joke, you have to know Bob Newhart and his phone routine. Clint Eastwood had done a perfect imitation of Newhart, including the stammers. But the connection is probably too obscure to most everyone.

bayview on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Clint Eastwood AND Chuck Norris…!!! It’s not hard to see why the left is apoplectic…

Mothers Finest on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

It did take me a couple of minutes, but then I got what Clint was doing. Given that the Left has already attempted to portray Mitt as a cancer causing felon, they’ll distort anything.

rbj on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Which brings us back to Eastwood. In such films as “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “High Plains Drifter,” he’s the embodiment of rugged, rebellious heartland values.

My favorite movies of his were the “Man with No Name” spaghetti Westerns and, of course, the Dirty Harry series.

wildcat72 on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

My one suggestion would be they pop him in before the mitt video

cmsinaz on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Have to admit…I was one of those that found it cringe-worthy at first blush, too. But, watched it again this morning, and appreciate it a little more. Something a little more scripted would’ve worked better, I think, and it seemed odd to go from the heartfelt testimonials into that, but it was OK.

i found it cringe worthy also.

gerrym51 on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

To borrow from a very insightful poster on the Eastwood thread (h/t Mr. Arkadin):

Eastwood personifies certain timeless values, or at least certain bedrock American values that have remained fairly prevalent in the culture despite the ebb and flow of fashion. Every time his career seemed to be petering out, he would find a way to reinvigorate and redramatize those values (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Space Cowboys (!), Gran Torino) and rocket to the top once again…. Eastwood always had something to offer, even at his bleakest, and so here he is today.

To watch that 82-year-old icon casually flip off a lightweight like Barry was a delight, and a surprisingly effective introduction to the serious business of the rest of the evening. All of this morning’s leftist ranting about that “crazy old man” (see Gran Torino much?) plays right into his iconic persona. It was as good a performance as he’s given in years.

de rigueur on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

If the left want to take on Clint Eastwood’s appearance or performance last night … “Go ahead, make my day.”

TXUS on August 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Remember when @PiersMorgan spoke to an empty chair?

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:27 AM

.
No, why would anyone watch that grifter ?

Besides,
The empty chair routine works better when you have an
AMERICAN doing the questioning of the metaphorically ANTI-American Chair-

Not the other way around……….

ANTI-American empty suit. So simple.

FlaMurph on August 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Time for a Clint Eastwood marathon on AMC.

sentinelrules on August 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Maybe Morgan will bring along his grand-daughter/wife.

sentinelrules on August 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM

he could get someone to show her some respect by dressing her in a giant pink anatomically correct costume, no?

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Obama is just not very presidential.

Obama Twitter response. “This seat’s taken”

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Eastwood ‘s appearance was tonic. The Left doesn’t get it (like they don’t get anything that makes sense to middle America). Let them contort themselves into outrage and over-intellectualized spittle fests.

When Eastwood said “we own this country” I shouted approval. Just like I did when Ryan blasted the central planners. There is enormous pent-up anger in this country at the arrogant Left’s notions of control. However much they mask and smother this totalitarian urge in “compassion”, we know what it is, and we’re sick of it.

rrpjr on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Eastwood rambled at times and had some awkward pauses, but he got off some great lines. And I agree that if it drew enough additional viewers at home who stuck around for Rubio and Romney, that alone made it worthwhile.

Plus it’s always fun to see the Democrat/media complex go nutz over anyone mocking Obama, and they’re in a rage over a high profile figure like Eastwood doing it at the GOP Convention with millions of people watching.

Doughboy on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Thought it was a nice change of pace. It’s not the keynote, so I don’t understand the outrageous outrage.

search4truth on August 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Obama Twitter response. “This seat’s taken”

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

that’s what mean, unlikeable and bullying kids said to Forrest Gump on the school bus.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Bob Newhart actually tweeted last night that his lawyers were preparing a lawsuit against Mr. Eastwood for stealing his act… True story… I saw it in a scroll across the bottom of the MSNBC screen… They were probably hoping it was true…

Mothers Finest on August 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Obama is just not very presidential.

Obama Twitter response. “This seat’s taken”

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Romney should tweet, “Thanks for keeping it warm for me.”

The Rogue Tomato on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Since Obama is not visiting NOLA, maybe Romney could take the empty chair with him.

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I hope that the inclusion of Eastwood will be disarming to the rest of the Hollywood prigs that think anyone gives a rip about what they say.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Hmmmm, I hadn’t thought about the appearance as an audience enhancer. That makes sense. I’m still a bit freaked out about my own reactions on the first time I watched it (live) and the replay. I definitely appreciated it more the second time around.

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I tuned in on a car radio last night in the middle of it. At first I thought it was an Eastwood parody. Then I realized it was Eastwood himself and thought he might be a little tipsy. I started to cringe.

But when the ABC announcer (who’d have thought Sam Donaldson is still around “reporting?”) broke in to prissily explain how shocking it was to put rude words in the president’s mouth, I realized Clint was pissing off the libs.

That made my day.

Drained Brain on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

My wife mentioned to me as we atched Clint “that we’ll know how successful Dirty Harry was with his ‘talk’ by how much the LSM squeals.” Harry has Made our Day!

Herb on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Since Obama is not visiting NOLA, maybe Romney could take the empty chair with him.

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Romney Campaign….are you listening?

COMEDY GOLD OPPORTUNITY DU JOUR

(maybe not appropriate for NOLA, but there will be one very soon!)

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

As a Romney-Ryan supporter, I ask earnestly, have they forgotton that “Million Dollar Baby” condoned EUTHANASIA? There goes Grandma over the cliff!

greengenes on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

the Heartland Campaign is not simply about Electoral College votes. It’s also a way to frame the Democrats as the out-of-touch party of the status quo — i.e., Big Government — at a time when Big Government has so signally failed the average American

.

Don’t forget The Hunger Games as a cultural touchstone for the under 25′s; the kids like Bruno Jr; in college at a large Midwestern university and voting in their first election.

That movie and series of books, about cultural elites, “your Bettors”, is a real touchstone for that age group.

And those kids love Clint the way us old farts loved The Duke.

Bruno Strozek on August 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Bob Newhart actually tweeted last night that his lawyers were preparing a lawsuit against Mr. Eastwood for stealing his act… True story… I saw it in a scroll across the bottom of the MSNBC screen… They were probably hoping it was true…

Mothers Finest on August 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

That’s pretty funny.

The Rogue Tomato on August 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM

If we start seeing even more anti-Obama jokes from the late-night TV hosts, we will have CLint to thank for breaking the invisible wall.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Also agree it should have come before the bio video. I hope they use the soundbites in campaign ads. That would be great.

SAZMD on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Michael Grunwald writes “There was one semi-disturbing moment, when Clint screamed “We own this country!”
Really? Screamed? Lets go to the 8:55 mark…if that’s a scream, then I guess commentators on CNN and MSNBC are in a perpetual state of shrieking.

CarolynM on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I’m among those who, much as we love – and revere – Clint, were squirming a bit. The humor was spot on but I felt the delivery left him open to media attack, which he’s getting.

They are doing handsprings at Lucianne and the consensus there, as well as here in the big overnight thread, is that you must watch it two times at least to get the full benefit, so that’s what I’ll do.

Here’s one happy review:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/the_greatest_piece_of_performance_art_in_american_political_history.html

timmytee on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

If we start seeing even more anti-Obama jokes from the late-night TV hosts, we will have CLint to thank for breaking the invisible wall.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

yep, set snark phasers to DEFMOCK ONE….

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I thought it extremely well played. Low key but really insightful and funny. And a pretty serious beat down to boot. Go get em, Clint.

JimK on August 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Romney going to New Orleans is a great move. It will hook him up with Jindal. It is newsworthy. AND I hope people will remember it took Barry over a month to react to the the BP oil spill.

bayview on August 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I hope Mitt and Ann Romney campaign together a lot. When you hear them both talking together, you can really pick up on their Michigan accents. Ryan and his wife are also from the Midwest. I’ve never heard his wife speak, but Ryan, being from a different generation than the Romneys, seems to have more of a generic American accent, which is common with younger people. But overall, I think these two attractive and down to earth couples could easily conjure up a revival of the Midwestern Reagan Democrat phenomenon. And putting Dirty Harry up there only helps this cause.

Let’s see what 2016 does at the box office over the holiday weekend.

ardenenoch on August 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I will add that I heard Eastwood’s schtick on the radio driving home from a meeting. It was a thing decidedly not made for radio.
ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

No matter. Liberals don’t do radio, because radio requires content, not just haircuts and sound bites. This is why liberal talk radio is as populated as the church services will be at the democratic convention.

What am I talking about? There won’t be any church services at the demvention. Oh, wait! I was right. There isn’t any liberal talk radio, either.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Obama is just not very presidential.

Obama Twitter response. “This seat’s taken”

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

That BHO and his team feel comfortable tweeting a picture with the Pres turning his back to the viewer, tells you all you need to know about BHO.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

As one of the biggest Clint fans on earth, I was alternately squirming and laughing. But it was a great decision.

Clint is not a hardcore Republican. He’s a legend and 82. Beating up on Clint will only piss off the seniors. My 72 year old dad was texting me through the speech and thought it was the best non-politician political speech he’s ever seen. Ha.

So at worst it was a wash.

Chuck Schick on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

if there is ONE THING that this country is desperately in need of (Ok, beside 23million jobs, a debt solution, border plan and how to deal with China) it is a LAUGH!

its good for the soul. If it comes at obama’s expense, ehhh…who cares.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

As a Romney-Ryan supporter, I ask earnestly, have they forgotton that “Million Dollar Baby” condoned EUTHANASIA? There goes Grandma over the cliff!

greengenes on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Clint’s character grants the last wish of a 31 year-old former champion boxer who’s been left a quadraplegic after an accident and puts her down. Hardly the same as pushing granny off a cliff.

Doughboy on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I didn’t really have a problem with the empty chair thing; but he needed notes or something, he just wandered a bit and I think it took away from the message and left him open to fairly valid criticism.

Tell you what though, hearing Eastwood say it was a ‘pretty stupid idea’ to try terrorists in NYC was hilarious.

John_Locke on August 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

if that’s a scream, then I guess commentators on CNN and MSNBC are in a perpetual state of shrieking.

CarolynM on August 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I suppose you can call that a scream if you crank in the age factor… but that would be a stretch. I seem to recall a presidential candidate democrat who did scream once… and it wasn’t pretty.

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

BTW- I’ve seen the Eiger Sanction about 40 times. That’s how hardcore a Clint fan I am.

Chuck Schick on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I have a question. Are they just whining about Mr. Eastwood’s appearance or are they actually showing it?

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I didn’t care for it either. Perhaps it was when it was slotted or I was tainted by my own desire for someone different. Still rated the 3 nights an A+.

hillsoftx on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

He got a standing ovation for that one, and it’s possible that the virtually all-white crowd was picking up a bit of Gran Torino you-know-what-I-mean-by-we.

My God these people are insane!!

Are empty chairs racist, too? (I know, “if you have to ask…”).

the theme of Gran Torino wasn’t a paean to xenophobia, either. In fact, that’s nearly a direct antithesis of its message.

Nailed it, Ed. If it was such a racist movie, why did Walt Kowalski bond more with the Hmong kids than his own white family?

crazy_legs on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Well…there is the added benefit that the whacked out
media is not talking about Rubio or Romney….they are all talking
about Clint Eastwood!

And since they would not be saying anything good about Rubio
or Romney, it omits all the negatives, perceived or imagined.

Amjean on August 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The crowd went NUTS for Clint’s line, “We own this country”. Clint looked a little surprised by it, and like he was having great fun.

Once the Hollywood conservatives really start looking at the kind of warm reception they’ll get from us, just like Jon Lovitz, hopefully more and more of them will come out of hiding.

parteagirl on August 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I thought Obama performed much better than usual during last night’s debate with Eastwood.

EddieC on August 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The clucking of tongues over Eastwood’s “I can’t do that to myself” as inappropriate is almost laughable, considering what passes for humor these days in the US.

Dude, even my mom who is the biggest prude in the world was smirking at that.

People need to lighten up.

tdpwells on August 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM

i might have to netflix some clint tonight. Outlaw Josey Wales, Where Eagles Dare (think that’s the title) or something else..

BTW, Magnum Force was one of the first R-rated movies I ever saw; may have been the first. Saw it with my uncle on HBO when I was a kid, IIRC. One glaring scene that is etched in my memory is some chick in a swimming pool that jumps up out of the water with her boobies all out then gets shot in the center of the chest. That was about all I could watch at the time.

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Whatever…Like most people, I was expecting something else. But after all he is Clint Eastwood and “The Outlaw Josie Wales” is still the best western ever made…imho

repvoter on August 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Obama has always been this vulnerable but nobody ever dared to poked at the tender spots.
For example.
If during a debate Mitt Romney turned to Obama and said “Mr. President…“What the hell were you doing in Pakistan and can you possibly explain how you got there?” it would destroy him.
How could he answer that question.

NeoKong on August 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

The DNCC is going to try to top this. They’re scheduling Richard Roundtree, and they’ll introduce him to the theme from Shaft.

I don’t think it’ll work.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Nailed it, Ed. If it was such a racist movie, why did Walt Kowalski bond more with the Hmong kids than his own white family?

crazy_legs on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Not to mention the whole laying down his life…..

tdpwells on August 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Clint’s character grants the last wish of a 31 year-old former champion boxer who’s been left a quadraplegic after an accident and puts her down. Hardly the same as pushing granny off a cliff.

Doughboy on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

and were it not for the machine she was attached to she would have passed already

Rio Linda Refugee on August 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I didn’t really have a problem with the empty chair thing; but he needed notes or something, he just wandered a bit and I think it took away from the message and left him open to fairly valid criticism.

There’s a rumor that Clint’s teleprompter went dark after four lines. That would explain more about his delivery than just his age.

parteagirl on August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

“…the theme of Gran Torino wasn’t a paean to xenophobia, either. In fact, that’s nearly a direct antithesis of its message.”

Well said, Ed.

I think Gran Torino was one of Eastwood’s finest films.

But it’s a toss up as what’s more entertaining: the fine speakers and words at this convention, or watching the liberal loon toons’ collective head explode.

locomotivebreath1901 on August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

The Romney campaign explained it best:

“Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, ”

That does explain it best. Clint Eastwood was being political without sounding like a typical politician. Many people are turned off by politics because of politicians. It was a very different vessel that was delivering the same message…and the message was more appealing for many for exactly that reason.

lynncgb on August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

It was brilliant. It is not Clint’s fault that some lack the intellect or are too partisan (Maddow, *cough, cough*) to appreciate what he did.

McDuck on August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Sometimes you just gotta let ‘em go.
Brilliant

txmomof6 on August 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM

As a Romney-Ryan supporter, I ask earnestly, have they forgotton that “Million Dollar Baby” condoned EUTHANASIA? There goes Grandma over the cliff!

greengenes on August 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Clint’s character grants the last wish of a 31 year-old former champion boxer who’s been left a quadraplegic after an accident and puts her down. Hardly the same as pushing granny off a cliff.

Doughboy on August 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I agree 100%. My point is, why make it so easy for the Dems? Clint (love him) was not a good choice.

greengenes on August 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The left bashes Eastwood at their own peril. He has many fans… many of them on the LEFT.

The shots the left has taken at Eastwood are cheap, tawdry and low. The Democrats already have a massive problem with disillusionment in their base.

Showing themselves to be nasty losers is only going to reinforce that disillusionment and push even more former Democrats into the Independent column, the GOP column, or keep them sitting at home on election day.

thatsafactjack on August 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I have a question. Are they just whining about Mr. Eastwood’s appearance or are they actually showing it?

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Good point. They don’t dare show the applause lines. Or the chair.

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

de rigueur on August 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Eastwood rocked. He spoke the unvarnished truth … that’s why he hit so many sensitive liberal nerves.

darwin on August 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

There’s a rumor that Clint’s teleprompter went dark after four lines. That would explain more about his delivery than just his age.

parteagirl on August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I’d heard that, anyone know if it’s true? The campaign issued a statement saying he ad-libbed the speech, I just didn’t know if the ad-libbing was intentional or not.

John_Locke on August 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

de rigueur on August 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The Won does not like to be mocked, are his minions protecting him from further embarrassment?

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

It was brilliant. That ten viral minutes will do more to spread the truth about Obama’s dismal presidency than all the rest of the convention combined.

AmeriCuda on August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Please lose the stupid pop-up ads. Holy f@#$, really?

Midas on August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

That made my day.

Heh. I see what you did there. ;-)

crazy_legs on August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Thank you, ED!

jimver on August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I agree 100%. My point is, why make it so easy for the Dems? Clint (love him) was not a good choice.

greengenes on August 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The party of death can’t go there without opening a door they would rather stay closed

Rio Linda Refugee on August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

It was ingenious really. It doesn’t matter how many people tuned in or didn’t tune in last night, how many people looked up Eastwood’s performance today just to see what all the fuss was about? That’s strategy my friends.

NerwenAldarion on August 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Please lose the stupid pop-up ads. Holy f@#$, really?

Midas on August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yeah, this site’s about to get the full adblock hammer soon.

I want HotAir to do well, surely they can monetize without FB or popup ads or all other sorts of bull.

John_Locke on August 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I found Clint’s “speech” very entertaining and on message that the choomer has to be let go. I really don’t understand what the fuss is about nor do I care, a little humor goes a long way…

RedInMD on August 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Clint Eastwood is Clint Eastwood and although a little less eloquent than in his youth, he was still worth the listen. Yes he was at times a little scattered but his talk with the empty suit…er empty chair was exactly how many of us feel. Eastwood is a proud American, an Icon, and I was proud to have him speak against Obama.

Add to that the chance to watch the Liberals commit suicide by trashing him and you get the best of both worlds!

SgtRed on August 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

did clint say, “if a man doesn’t work out, sometimes you just gotta let ‘em go”

did he say that last night?

ted c on August 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

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