Skip to comments.On Clint Eastwood
Posted on 09/01/2012 5:18:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
I was traveling in a sleep-deprived state much of the day yesterday, so I havent had a chance to chime in here on the issue of Clint Eastwoods speech act. I did write about it in the Goldberg File (after the bit about boob glitter and all that). Allow myself to . . . repeat myself, to paraphrase Austin Powers:
Moreover, I think all of the people attacking Eastwood are doing Mitt Romney an enormous favor. The clips Ive seen on the news arent incoherent, rambling, or even weird, as some of the talking heads are saying. By my lights theyre charming or funny. Chris Rock said on Twitter this morning something to the effect of Clint Eastwood on phone with Obama this morning: Everything went as planned sir.
I like Chris Rock, but his grasp of politics is ludicrous. Eastwoods speech is going to be water-cooler talk all day today. If people dont like what he said, they wont hold Eastwoods comments against Mitt Romney. If they like what he said, thats bad for Obama. And lots of people who havent focused on the election will now hear about how Clinton Eastwood a compelling American badass thinks its time for Obama to go. I understand people who want to say Eastwoods act wasnt good for Eastwood or all that useful for Romney. But Im baffled by the claim that theres an upside for Obama in what Eastwood said.
But let them attack him. If the Democrats want to berate an American icon for being too old, let them (just please do it loud enough so they can hear you in South Florida). If you want to bleat about how it was inappropriate for an actor, please ask Alec Baldwin or George Clooney to make that case.
But after noodling it and debating it with a bunch of people, let me add some further thoughts. I still enjoyed it for most of the reasons Mark Steyn lays out and still think it was a net positive for Romney (or at least a net negative for Obama). Also, I should say Ive received a remarkable amount of feedback from people polling their families, friends and coworkers. Admittedly, its a anecdotal sort of filter, but the gist of nearly all of them is My wife/brother/coworker/friend isnt very political/voted for Obama and he watched it and loved it. I think when you watch it live with a certain set of expectations, the surprises are a lot more dramatic than when you watch it on YouTube. In other words, it gets better and funnier with time.
I do love how the press corps has been whining for decades about how these conventions are too scripted, too planned, too inauthentic and inorganic. And the moment we have a genuine TV moment theyre all shocked and horrified. I suspect that the smug condescension wouldnt be nearly so raw and nasty if the target had been Romney and the act had been performed in Charlotte. But I dont think partisanship explains it all. Theres a tendency for the political press to get so cozy with the political pros that they start to think alike. Breaking out of the groupthink about how things are done can produce a sharp negative reaction (particularly when youre watching it live and have some deeply-set expectations about what is smart or even possible). That doesnt mean, necessarily, that the groupthink is wrong. As conservatives in particular should appreciate, sometimes the way weve always done it is actually the right way.
Which brings me to a concession to the critics. If Eastwood wanted to do something like this, this wasnt the best way to do it. Going way long in the precious last hour of primetime was unfair to the Romney campaign. Not working out the sound issues in advance (because he kept turning his head sideways away from the mic, the audience inside the arena often couldnt hear his clipped lines) was a mistake. There may have been a more artful way to make the same point as the blue-ish material. And so on.
Its one thing to celebrate Eastwood for being less than slick; its another to say the act couldnt use a little more professional polish. Put it this way, if Eastwood had come in with a a tight, rehearsed and slightly shorter hard-hitting routine, the criticisms would be more muted and none of the people defending and celebrating Eastwood today would be saying You know, that was great, but it really could have been improved with more rambling and worse sound.
I still think putting liberals and professional Democrats in the position of attacking Clint Eastwood instead of Mitt Romney is an unambiguous win. I think the controversy and buzz is useful because its pulling in the less politically engaged to hear sharp criticisms of Obama. Those who dont like those criticisms will not hold them against Romney and those who find them persuasive . . . will find them persuasive and thats a good thing for Romney. Also, the simple fact that Clint Eastwood felt comfortable riffing about how Obamas got to go, has to help others get over that psychological barrier which was a big theme of the whole convention is a significant cultural breakthrough. This wasnt a game changer, as they say, but it did put points on the board and not for Obama.
The Empty Chair will be an iconic political metaphor for years to come.
The libs are attacking it because they more than anyone realize the power of mockery.
Eastwood is a multi-winning Oscar director. He knew exactly what he was doing.
“But Im baffled by the claim that theres an upside for Obama in what Eastwood said.”
Me too. Clint hit him right between the eyes. And if those that are too dense to see the symbolism of him talking to an empty chair, they are probably ALREADY in Zero’s base...
It was a game changer.
On the other hand, if it’s too tight, rehearsed, and planned, his speech would have been like any other speech. Precisely because of the loose, improv, and a bit rambling that the speech is memorable.
I suggest creating a postcard with an empty chair and sending it to the whitehouse....mark it "occupant"
I dare say if you put a Romney sign in your front yard along with a chair. You’re going to get your car keyed. Or slashed tires.
Gotta love the Alinsky tactic of ridicule being going full circle.....and seeing that the "Thin-skinned-0ne" wasn't at all pleased with it.
This is a win-win.
Another of Alinsky's tactics.....
I have a saying. The young and old are protected by me. Everyone in the middle is fair game .I love Clint and thought his delivery was excellent!
It was as simple as a cold beer on a hot day after hard work..not fancy in fact a little sloppy..but in the end it hit the spot like nothing else
This thing will have legs for quite sometime.
Now what we are not counting on and what may happen is if Clint hit the hastings with Romney-Ryan, Oh that could really get under O-Ba-Mao's skin...
Eastwood said what every one of us wanted to but were too polite. Either Eastwood was a wacko crank (bad on him and Obama) or a perceptive genius (worse on Obama).
I agree, the rambling is what made it possible for him to get away with what he said. The soft-spoken stammering was necessary and brilliant.
I haven’t seen anybody recognize this as a takeoff on Jimmy Stewart’s ‘Harvey’ routine.
Perhaps it would considered racist to refer to Obama as a ‘Pooka’.
” the rambling is what made it possible for him to get away with what he said. The soft-spoken stammering was necessary and brilliant.”
Exactly . Some dumbdumbs don’t understsand this yet . They guy is old , but he’s still sharp as a tack . He knew EXACTLY what he was doing . An American hero .
I wonder how The Regime likes getting gored by their own ox?
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