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Why Clint Eastwood’s speech worked
The Daily Caller ^ | September 1, 2012 | Professor Jim Huffman, Lewis & Clark Law School

Posted on 09/01/2012 6:50:33 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Clint Eastwood’s speech to the Republican National Convention has been panned as badly delivered and condemned as disrespectful. But it drew some of the most enthusiastic response of any speech at the three-day event.

Why is that? Are Republicans a bunch of disrespectful yahoos lacking in appreciation for rhetorical skills? No. Their response counters the critics and demonstrates that there is more than one way to deliver a message. My hunch is that a whole lot of people across the political spectrum were both humored and inspired by the iconic actor’s words.

Of course, the talking heads at MSNBC and CNN were in high dudgeon in their disapproval. As, no doubt, were most hard-core Obama supporters, at least after learning from the high priests of liberalism that they were supposed to be offended. After all, Eastwood said neither Mitt Romney nor he could do IT to themselves. Apparently the super-sensitive Rachel and Wolf have never heard a conversation among today’s youth, or even the youth of their own generation. Sometimes, particularly in today’s politics, you have to be a little outrageous to get anyone’s attention. Certainly Clint got their attention.

I suppose it is surprising that the campaign consultants and party poobahs allowed Eastwood to speak without an authorized script. But then, Eastwood is Eastwood. Who’s going to tell the make-my-day guy what to say? And thank goodness he was allowed to be himself, though it’s doubtful he would have spoken otherwise. No sanitized, synthesized, authorized script would have been anywhere near as effective.

What media critics heard as unprepared, bumbling and rambling prattle, millions of Americans heard as an expression of their frustration with nearly four years of economic lethargy and political divisiveness. What the naysayers heard as disrespect of the president, millions of Americans heard as a challenge to a leader often disrespectful of those who disagree with him. People do not soon forget when told that they cling to their guns and their religion, and that they have not built the businesses in which they have invested life and treasure.

A carefully vetted speech read from a teleprompter like most of the convention speeches would have been lost in the mists of endless and predictable words meant to inspire without offending, and without committing anyone to anything. Eastwood said what was on his mind. We need more of that in American politics — more honest debate and less pandering — more communication and less obfuscation.

Eastwood was not speaking to the Republican base or to independents, or to moderate Democrats. He was speaking to anyone willing to listen. Some who listened took offense. But my guess is that most who listened found themselves nodding in agreement and smiling at the jokes, even if off color.

Eastwood said what he thought and what a lot of other people are thinking. We own this country. Those we elect to public office work for us. If they don’t do their job, we fire them. Pretty basic stuff that most people, in most walks of life, understand. And, oh yes, there are even people in Hollywood who think it’s time to fire the guy at the top. A simple message, simply and effectively delivered.

*****

Jim Huffman is the dean emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School, the co-founder of Northwest Free Press and a member of the Hoover Institution’s De Nault Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom and Prosperity.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: clinteastwood; eastwood; obama; romney
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1 posted on 09/01/2012 6:50:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If he’d given a nice scripted (yes, he’s quite familiar with the concept of a script) speech, no one would be talking about it. People will be talking about this speech for months.


2 posted on 09/01/2012 6:54:13 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Clint hit a home run for the GOP.

Why is it that everyone is “surprised” that BHO asks us to do to ourselves the very same thing that he has been doing to the USA, Israel, UK, ET AL for about 4 years!

3 posted on 09/01/2012 6:57:19 PM PDT by texican01
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s the oldest trick in the book - - show the young couple a few dumps and then show them the buttered-up split level. That split-level looks like a mansion. Clint’s stammering, (apparently) unrehearsed speech helped make Mitt’s delivery sound like Dale Carnegie.


4 posted on 09/01/2012 6:59:32 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: bigbob

“people will be talking about this for months” ..you are so right..I bet it becomes a classic like everything else Eastwood does. Amazing man.


5 posted on 09/01/2012 6:59:38 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not a speech but a skit. A speech wouldn’t be nearly as effective as satire. Nor would it be nearly as accepted.

I thought it was hilarious and brillannt!


6 posted on 09/01/2012 7:05:44 PM PDT by cpa4you (CPA4YOU)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It didn’t work for me. He just seemed old, and I thought it made the GOP look like the old people’s party.

Turned me off!!


7 posted on 09/01/2012 7:09:55 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The empty chair was a great metaphor for the empty suit in the White House.


8 posted on 09/01/2012 7:11:42 PM PDT by 2001convSVT (Going Galt as fast as I can.)
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To: luckystarmom

It worked for me. But I saw the movie Clint’s parody was based on — “Harvey” starring Jimmy Stewart:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKECvqSVWPA


9 posted on 09/01/2012 7:14:47 PM PDT by kevao (Is your ocean any lower than it was four years ago?)
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To: bigbob
If he’d given a nice scripted (yes, he’s quite familiar with the concept of a script) speech, no one would be talking about it. People will be talking about this speech for months.

The left RAAAAVES about Obama being SUUUUCH A GREAT OR-A-TOR. But take away the teleprompter, he stumbles more than a drunk with his shoes untied, on the wrong feet.

Here's Clint, doing a schtick ad lib, with no help from a script or teleprompter, and delivering better than The Won.

Subconciously this has got to really irk them.

10 posted on 09/01/2012 7:15:39 PM PDT by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: Lancey Howard
Clint’s stammering, (apparently) unrehearsed speech helped make Mitt’s delivery sound like Dale Carnegie.

BUT..... Clint was mimicking Obama's delivery style. Didn't you notice ?

11 posted on 09/01/2012 7:18:03 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: kevao

At the very beginning of addressing the ‘chair’, Clint was imitating Jimmy Stewart’s voice.


12 posted on 09/01/2012 7:21:26 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: luckystarmom
"It didn’t work for me. He just seemed old, and I thought it made the GOP look like the old people’s party."

Are you serious?!!!!!!!!!!!

Clint is 82, yet 72 years old Reid looks older. Take a glance at hillary, peelosi, such hot babes they are!

If the GOP looks like an old people's party, what's wrong with that? Do we want a youthful clueless cabinet as we have now?

In the coming elections, let's vote for beauty!

13 posted on 09/01/2012 7:22:52 PM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: cpa4you
Not only did those watching at convention and on TV hear his words.They have been repeated over and over to those who otherwise would not have.

Let Him Go.

He got his message out far and wide.

14 posted on 09/01/2012 7:25:26 PM PDT by tapatio (In memory of my Dad 5-27-26 2-4-2010)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My mother, who voted for Obama (sigh), loved Clint’s skit. She ‘s a pretty good belle weather for how the center left viewed Dirty Harry dismantling O. Pretty sure she is going Romney this time.


15 posted on 09/01/2012 7:26:31 PM PDT by grayhog (Ay with.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why is that? Are Republicans a bunch of disrespectful yahoos lacking in appreciation for rhetorical skills? No. Their response counters the critics and demonstrates that there is more than one way to deliver a message. My hunch is that a whole lot of people across the political spectrum were both humored and inspired by the iconic actor’s words.

Of course, the talking heads at MSNBC and CNN were in high dudgeon in their disapproval.

These are the same outlets that wooed and cooed over the OWSers and the gay protests or parades. They laugh and mock Bush or Palin or Tea Partiers or anything and everything Christian or (fill in the blank). One SLIGHT little thing ridiculing their guy, and they're vapor locking.

16 posted on 09/01/2012 7:28:17 PM PDT by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It was brilliant.

Obama has been an empty chair for everything that really mattered.


17 posted on 09/01/2012 7:31:00 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: cpa4you

BTTT!


18 posted on 09/01/2012 7:32:31 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: UCANSEE2
Clint was mimicking Obama's delivery style. Didn't you notice ?

No. I just saw one of my all-time favorite actors deliver an entertaining speech to the convention (and the nation) and deliver it far better than most 82-year-old men could ever hope to deliver it. For the scumbag communist lefties to wag their fingers and mock him is a disgrace, and one that the elderly population may notice. The scumbag communist lefties better be very, very careful.

19 posted on 09/01/2012 7:33:15 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Oh, but it WAS rehearsed and planned. Clint was a true artist on Thursday night. . That performance was engineered and tuned for effect. . .

I thought the teleprompter in front of the empty seat was an especially nice touch. . .


20 posted on 09/01/2012 7:41:23 PM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

VS


21 posted on 09/01/2012 7:43:08 PM PDT by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: texican01

Yes, and it really is ridiculous that his comment that implied that the imaginary Obama had said “go f*** yourself” was off color. What planet is that idiot law professor living on? I hear over the top obscenity from rap music every day just walking to the supermarket.
I have half a mind to call him up and let him hear how people in NYC speak every day....that would show that sissy pantywaist what offcolor is.


22 posted on 09/01/2012 7:48:17 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A carefully vetted speech read from a teleprompter like most of the convention speeches would have been lost in the mists of endless and predictable words meant to inspire without offending, and without committing anyone to anything.

So then lets require that all politicians speak without teleprompters.....

23 posted on 09/01/2012 7:50:24 PM PDT by eeriegeno (<p>)
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To: Lancey Howard

He had a teleprompter..it went off!

THAt makes it even more remarkable he did so great!


24 posted on 09/01/2012 7:58:07 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie
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To: 2001convSVT

NOW everyone is talking about the empty chair....the empty suit!

It was brilliant.
Eastwood could have done anything..he could have had a “perfect” looking speech. But he carried this off when no one else could.


25 posted on 09/01/2012 8:00:21 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie

the teleprompter was a prop.


26 posted on 09/01/2012 8:02:42 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: 1_Rain_Drop

Doesn’t “GOP” stand for “Geezers’ Old Party” anyway?


27 posted on 09/01/2012 8:14:39 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: DannyTN

The only thing that would have made his speech better would be for him to have been able to get an empty suit to sit in the chair. :)


28 posted on 09/01/2012 8:42:22 PM PDT by srmorton (Deut. 30 19: "..I have set before you life and death,....therefore, choose life..")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We could have had the second coming at the convention and the MSNBC talking heads would be complaining about the lighting effects.


29 posted on 09/01/2012 8:50:34 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: LurkingSince'98

I know about the prop telepromtor.. Neil Cavuto said Eastwood had one, but it froze after the first minute. If that’s accurate, then that explains a lot.


30 posted on 09/01/2012 8:52:29 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
It didn’t work for me. He just seemed old, and I thought it made the GOP look like the old people’s party.

Trolling I see

31 posted on 09/01/2012 8:58:04 PM PDT by scooby321 (AMS)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If there are arguments among people on both sides (and there is) whether or not it worked . . . it didn’t.


32 posted on 09/01/2012 9:00:30 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: RIghtwardHo

The polling doesn’t agree with that argument:

New Florida poll shows vindication of Eastwood Strategy
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2925363/posts


33 posted on 09/01/2012 9:04:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: kabumpo
Did you read THIS part of the article? "After all, Eastwood said neither Mitt Romney nor he could do IT to themselves. Apparently the super-sensitive Rachel and Wolf have never heard a conversation among today’s youth, or even the youth of their own generation."

I know Jim Huffman....and he is NOT an "idiot"....believe me.

34 posted on 09/01/2012 9:24:41 PM PDT by goodnesswins (What has happened to America?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The hysterical indignation by the left shows that Eastwood’s performance worked beautifully. Of all the speeches given at the GOP convention, people remember Eastwood’s as much or more than any.

Look for the lefties to do something really nasty at the Dem convention to try to get even.


35 posted on 09/01/2012 9:38:51 PM PDT by Avid Coug
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To: Avid Coug

Whatever the dems try to do to get even, may it backfire on them.


36 posted on 09/01/2012 10:02:05 PM PDT by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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To: Graewoulf
Sorry for my ignorance, but what does that mean? Also, “ping.”
37 posted on 09/01/2012 10:16:24 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: Fungi

back to the top. Ping is to put the thread in your ping list.


38 posted on 09/01/2012 10:50:58 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: goodnesswins

You are correct, and I was mistaken - I misread that part. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


39 posted on 09/01/2012 10:52:03 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Salgak
Oh, but it WAS rehearsed and planned. Clint was a true artist on Thursday night. . That performance was engineered and tuned for effect. .

Yep, absolutely. First time I watched it I thought it was spontaneous. Second time I realized it was a master actor and director using his God given talent and 60 years experience to craft a great performance. And don't forget the mark of a great actor is not even realize they are acting!

40 posted on 09/01/2012 11:40:22 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: UCANSEE2

That is what I thought too-—he was imitating Zero’s stammering-—when he doesn’t have his trusty old teleprompter. Clint’s speech wasn’t scripted!!!! There were many layers to Eastwood’s speech and much of it went WAY over the Leftist’s heads.


41 posted on 09/01/2012 11:59:57 PM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: expat1000

You expressed exactly what I thought...better than I could.


42 posted on 09/02/2012 5:10:57 AM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie

The TelePrompTer was for the empty chair, not Clint.


43 posted on 09/02/2012 5:29:54 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: bigbob

I am sort of disheartened that we don’t even seem to know our own culture.
Clint Eastwood’s speech was a masterful demonstration of the technique of communicating called Method Acting, pioneered in this country by Lee Strasberg. Does anyone recall the Brando-James Dean technique of delivering a speech. It is a naturalistic style that inspires intense concentration on the part of the audience, And it worked again this time didn’t it.

If you think it is easy, just try it. Eastwood’s expert use of the technique was refreshing and communicated better than the usual political speaking style which is quite theatrical and thus artificial.

Offense was taken because Obama supporters can ignore messages delivered in the usual stiff and artificial language style.


44 posted on 09/02/2012 5:30:29 AM PDT by De La Marche (Suggestion for Debates)
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To: kabumpo

YOU are welcome....It’s NOT like I have EVER mis-read anything here! (/s)


45 posted on 09/02/2012 8:27:07 AM PDT by goodnesswins (What has happened to America?)
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To: Verginius Rufus

no


46 posted on 09/02/2012 8:30:56 AM PDT by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: savagesusie
he was imitating Zero’s stammering

That was part of it. He was also imitating JIMMY STEWART and the whole 'skit' was based on this MOVIE. The empty chair next to Jimmy was where 'Harvey' was sitting.


47 posted on 09/02/2012 9:52:04 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: UCANSEE2

Absolutely. Brilliant! But it went over the ignorant Dems’ heads (except a very few of the heads of the Alinsky-ites). They know the power of ridicule and humor.


48 posted on 09/02/2012 10:03:36 AM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: kevao

I know Harvey. Seen the movie and play, and love it.

My 80 year old mom who has been a republican for a lot longer than me also didn’t like it.

We both liked Marco Rubio! He was our favorite, then probably Paul Ryan.

I didn’t see Ann Romney’s speech, but my mom really liked it.

Of course, Not liking Eastwood’s speech won’t change our vote.

I don’t know if my almost 18 year old son saw any of the speeches. He started college last week. I’m viroid how the convention played out to that age group.


49 posted on 09/02/2012 11:32:46 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom

You can watch Ann Romney’s speech here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBA7rPKhGtQ


50 posted on 09/02/2012 3:02:48 PM PDT by kevao (Is your ocean any lower than it was four years ago?)
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