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Why Eastwood? Look at the map
Hot Air ^ | August 31, 2012 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 09/01/2012 1:23:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

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:

(VIDEO AT LINK)


TOPICS: Campaign News; Parties; Polls; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2012; clinteastwood; eastwood; romney
Gov. Scott Walker is wrong on this one.
1 posted on 09/01/2012 1:23:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

HOORAY Ed! HOORAY Clint!


2 posted on 09/01/2012 1:30:10 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Scott Walker was born in ‘67, it was probably a little over his head. He was barely an indecent thought during the spaghetti westerns, was making mudpies during Dirty Harry, and was a 9 year old for Josey Wales.
Freakin’ kids, should be seen and not heard sometmes.


3 posted on 09/01/2012 1:34:37 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Eastwooding" will enter the lexicon, after that incredible performance. The comments of all the onlookers are for entertainment purposes only. Eastwood just won a couple 50/50 states Thursday night.
4 posted on 09/01/2012 1:35:20 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

Well, the polls are showing it. A canvas of Florida voters showed he improved independent turnovers to the GOP by 10%. That was on an earlier thread this morning.

It was a brilliant, staged performance.


5 posted on 09/01/2012 1:41:10 PM PDT by bcsco (Bourbon gets better with age...I age better with Bourbon.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
GOP folks like Walker who chickened out on acknowledging the accuracy of Eastwood's aim should have held their comments until they heard the rest of America speak.

The Dem "talking heads" and surrogates just can't bring themselves to acknowledge that the entire world "got" Eastwood's message loud and clear--and they have nowhere to hide.

Agree, too, with Applegateranch's comments on another thread about the genius of Eastwood's use of his object's own "egregious speech pattern," commonly referred to by pseudointellectual "progressives" as a sign of Obama's great intellect and deliberative style. Now, Eastwood's use of it, with "progressives" (an entire set of "empty chairs" when it comes to understanding and defending the ideas of freedom), such a "deliberate" and halting style denotes everything from senility to "doddering fool."

Another gem was his use of a former President's assessment of Romney's "stellar business performance" in this total unmasking of the great destroyer of business in America. Bet Hillary, the eye-rolling "You know what I mean" Hillary, got it too, from wherever she was watching.

From Geraldo Rivera on FOX to Gloria Borger on CNN, the faux criticism and claims that Eastwood distracted from the Romney speech and Borger's claim that parts were "crass" are laughable when compared with much of the Dem performer language and inferences.

This was a priceless and iconic performance which will live on, long after Eastwood is gone, and Obama is a distant memory in the rearview mirror of presidents.

6 posted on 09/01/2012 1:41:30 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

scott walker needs to brush up on the classics.


7 posted on 09/01/2012 1:42:38 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: DesertRhino
I admit the Eastwood speech had me concerned; about five minutes in, I said "this was a mistake". While I enjoyed it, I thought it would bomb with most viewers. As the days pass, it appears any impact of the speech will be positive for Romney. But I don't think anyone planned it as it turned out.
8 posted on 09/01/2012 1:44:16 PM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I was able to see the Clint Eastwood special, plus Marco Rubio and Mitt Rommey speeches! They were all excellent!

I think voters have got the message: “Both parties must focus getting the job done!

Politics, nor politicians, nor speeches, nor titles etc. count!

What our nation really needs is: “JUST GETTING THE JOB DONE”


9 posted on 09/01/2012 1:44:33 PM PDT by Letmarch75 ( If a man knows the right way to live and does not live it, there is no greater coward).)
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To: Mr. Bird

I was glad it was something an artist did, and not some stodgy serious straight guy speech. It was like he was some guy cutting up in your living room.

And i almost passed out laughing when he came out with that, “well he can’t do that to himself”,,,,”you sound crazy” schtik.


10 posted on 09/01/2012 2:01:46 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Gov. Scott Walker is wrong on this one.

Agree. Walker's a bit young, a bit too quick to respond -- he should've held back on this one.

At first I found Eastwood's performance "cringe"-worthy too. But after thinking about it overnight, I did a 180.

"Getting" the brilliance of Clint's performance is kind of like "getting" new and odd-sounding music. Sometimes it takes a few listenings before the new musical patterns start to register in your mind -- and then you fall in love with them, and can't get enough.

11 posted on 09/01/2012 2:02:38 PM PDT by shhrubbery! (NIH!)
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To: Mr. Bird
I said "this was a mistake".

It wasn't. All planned, down to the last detail, even the MUSSED UP HAIR.

12 posted on 09/01/2012 2:14:18 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 ( Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: DesertRhino
Scott Walker was born in ‘67, it was probably a little over his head. He was barely an indecent thought during the spaghetti westerns, was making mudpies during Dirty Harry, and was a 9 year old for Josey Wales.

Good post!

13 posted on 09/01/2012 2:30:11 PM PDT by arasina (So there.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Governor Walker should understand, that there are times when one should keep their opinions to themselves.


14 posted on 09/01/2012 2:32:17 PM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think the empty chair representing Obama in a discussion with Eastwood was the surprise guest, NOT Eastwood.

Everyone missed the joke!


15 posted on 09/01/2012 2:32:25 PM PDT by Randy Larsen (Damned if I do, Damned if I don't. Damn it, I will!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Amyone who saw the Jimmy Stewart classic "Harvey" would have instantly recognized what Clint Eastwood was doing.

I'm just surprised at the number of Republicans that can't make the connection.

16 posted on 09/01/2012 2:39:46 PM PDT by fso301
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To: shhrubbery!

Military Channel showing Clint Eastwood,s “Heartbreak Ridge” right now.


17 posted on 09/01/2012 2:41:34 PM PDT by notaliberal
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To: shhrubbery!

Military Channel showing Clint Eastwood,s “Heartbreak Ridge” right now.


18 posted on 09/01/2012 2:41:39 PM PDT by notaliberal
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To: shhrubbery!

Military Channel showing Clint Eastwood,s “Heartbreak Ridge” right now.


19 posted on 09/01/2012 2:41:41 PM PDT by notaliberal
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t know. I like Eastwood on the screen or at a piano, and he wasn’t outrageous Thursday night; but I doubt that he lit up the crowd any better than Sarah would have. Criminally myopic bots.


20 posted on 09/01/2012 2:45:03 PM PDT by Mach9
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey I know a lot of people who tuned in solely for Eastwood’s comments.

And he had a ‘Sudden Impact’ on them.


21 posted on 09/01/2012 2:51:02 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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If anyone hasn't seen the Clint Eastwood conversation with the empty chair it can be view at the following video about 10 minutes in duration.

Eastwood's conversation with the empty chair


22 posted on 09/01/2012 2:57:52 PM PDT by deport
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To: arasina; DesertRhino
and was a 9 year old for Josey Wales.

Now, spit.


23 posted on 09/01/2012 3:00:33 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
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To: fso301

Thanks for the “Harvey” reference. Indeed, that’s very apt.


24 posted on 09/01/2012 3:12:04 PM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Mr. Bird

I thought the whole routine a nice homage to Col. Stewart.


25 posted on 09/01/2012 3:18:45 PM PDT by 230FMJ (...from my cold, dead, fingers.)
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To: fso301

That was what was happening. Maybe there are too many younger people that don’t remember Jimmy Stewart..and certainly don’t remember Harvey.

Gran Torino is one of his movies I haven’t watched yet to the point of being able to recite the dialogue. When I get time, I want to go back and look at the end of the movie. I think he was dressed at the convention in very much the same way he was when he went after the bad guys in the movie.

He’s usually very dapper.


26 posted on 09/01/2012 4:04:35 PM PDT by berdie
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To: UCANSEE2

Yes, of course, the entire thing was brilliant, and it made me respect the GOP/Romney team that they reached out to him. Very, very clever. A cleverness that deserves to win.


27 posted on 09/01/2012 4:09:40 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: DesertRhino

I’m watching Dirty Harry tonight. 1971. Walker was 4.

‘Nuff said.


28 posted on 09/01/2012 8:12:49 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
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To: 230FMJ

Actually, he was Brigadier General Stewart when he retired...


29 posted on 09/01/2012 8:18:38 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: 230FMJ

Correction to last: Major General Stewart


30 posted on 09/01/2012 8:20:20 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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