It’s been a week since Clint Eastwood stepped off the stage at the Republican convention, creating a lot of headscratching among political analysts but also an enduring vision of Barack Obama.  The former mayor of Carmel has remained silent since, preferring to let his performance speak for itself.  Today, though, the local newspaper Carmel Pine Cone published an exclusive interview with the Hollywood legend, who says he did exactly what he intended — to expose Barack Obama as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” (via Instapundit):

But in a wide-ranging interview with The Pine Cone Tuesday, he said he had conveyed the messages he wanted to convey, and that the spontaneous nature of his presentation was intentional, too.

“I had three points I wanted to make,” Eastwood said. “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”

Eastwood’s appearance at the convention came after a personal request from Romney in August, soon after Eastwood endorsed the former Massachusetts governor at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho. But it was finalized only in the last week before the convention, along with an agreement to build suspense by keeping it secret until the last moment. …

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.”

Be sure to read it all, but this is also a keeper:

Eastwood said people, including reporters, who were shocked by his remarks “are obviously on the left,” and he maintained that, while many Americans didn’t like the way he handled his convention appearance, millions more have something else on their minds.

“A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama,” Eastwood said.

And they’re still talking about it today.  I doubt that will be true of Scarlett Johansson or Kerry Washington, who delivered brief and banal remarks at the Democratic convention last night.  Johansson is an A-lister, but it’s not exactly shocking news when a Hollywood celebrity endorses a Democrat for … well, anything.  Few would have tuned in to see what they had to say, and the networks didn’t carry their speeches anyway.  Eastwood’s inclusion in the prime-time slot for the last night of the convention was intended to draw the curious to see what he’d say in support of Mitt Romney — and have them stick around for the candidate afterward.

That’s also mission accomplished.