Three reasons Clint Eastwood worked for Republicans

1. It was fun. How many potential voters actually changed their minds — or made up their minds – on the basis of an ad-libbed comedy routine by a celebrity? If anything, chances are probably higher that that some mildly curious voters found the idea of an iconic actor giving a speech — one, incidentally, that didn’t adhere to Republican orthodoxy — at the RNC as evidence that the GOP wasn’t as rigid and unapproachable as everyone’s been telling them.

2. And speaking of 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 to celebrate bailouts. 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 understand. …

3. Ed Morrissey lays this argument out well, but whatever potential damage Eastwood can do, and I doubt he did much, he can make it up with eyeballs. How many people tuned in to see Eastwood? Was his shtick worth the cost if those viewers stuck around to see strong speeches by Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney?