If you missed it last night, watch it now. My impression from scanning Twitter while this was rolling shortly before 10 p.m. ET was that it was almost as successful as the Oparowskis’ speech. Everyone was gushing, including liberals. HuffPo went so far as to post the clip and marvel at how touching it was.
Obvious question, then: Why wasn’t Clint pushed into the 9 p.m. hour, with the Oparowskis tapped to kick things off as the networks cut in at 10 p.m. for primetime followed by Rubio and then this vid as a lead-in to Mitt? It’s not a matter of Eastwood being a disaster. I agree with Ed that the media’s pants-wetting over him is much ado about nothing and that his chair bit will play just fine with the sort of casual voter who tuned in last night to get a first look at Romney. See Jesse Walker’s piece at Reason for a list of reasons why. Political journalists are obsessing over CE today partly because they live in a cocoon and partly because they’d rather emphasize the one dodgy moment on the GOP’s big night than Rubio’s and Romney’s speeches. (Maureen Dowd, the epitome of the shallow, solipsistic Beltway commentator, is all but guaranteed to write a column goofing on Clint this weekend.) But to say that Eastwood did no harm isn’t an argument for why he should have sucked up primetime oxygen instead of the Romney family video. The whole point of the convention was to humanize Mitt. Well, here you go. Mission accomplished. So why was it reserved for C-SPAN junkies instead of millions of network viewers? Baffling.