Clint’s Million Dollar Mistake

“Do you feel lucky?”

Wait.  Dirty Harry debated a chair?

Who the hell thought that was a good idea? I love Clint Eastwood, but he looked and sounded every bit of his 82 years.

Did someone in the Romney campaign think it would be funny for  an old man to talk to a chair?    While the attendee’s at the convention applauded, Twitter exploded in shock and awe.

There is a reason conventions are scripted. Clint’s empty chair act weirdest convention moment I have ever seen.

~ Howard Kurtz


~ Elliott Holt

I love you, Clint. I always will. But you changed the theme of the RNC from “WE BUILT THIS” to “I CAN’T WATCH THIS”.

~ Patton Oswalt

Clint Eastwood became huge star as a man of few words As a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he had too many words (I say as a friend)

~ Tom Brokaw

“I don’t think I’ll use the teleprompter.” “Uh, okay.” “And I’ll need a chair.” “You can’t sit during your speech!” “It’s not for me.”

~ Jonathan Chait

Eastwood’s appearance at the closing night of the Republican National Committee was going to be the big wow finish.   Eastwood, a lifelong conservative in liberal Hollywood was going to come on, speak for five minutes before a primetime audience as the warm-up before Mitt Romney gave the biggest speech of his political career to a national audience.

“A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”

Instead Eastwood decided he didn’t need the teleprompter and instead of five minutes he rambled for almost 12 excruciating minutes where he “debated” an empty chair that was supposed to symbolize President Obama.    But that wasn’t enough for Eastwood.  In his imaginary “debate” with the imaginary Obama, Eastwood sneered about not wanting  “lawyers” in the White House (Romney has a law degree from Harvard), blamed Obama for the war in Afghanistan which was started by George W. Bush and implied Obama told him and Romney to “fuck themselves.”

This was a speech Team Romney approved.  Presumably the inaccuracies, distortions and suggestions they perform sexual acts upon themselves.   They knew what Eastwood was going to say even if they didn’t know how he was going to say it.   The chair and going way off-message when Clint started “hot dogging” it  to use his own words?  That was a surprise.    Then when it all went sideways and ass up, the New York Times intercepted some Romney advisers  probably on their way to drinking themselves into unconsciousness.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Eastwood’s convention cameo was cleared by Mr. Romney’s top message mavens, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, who drew up talking points that Mr. Eastwood included, in his own way. They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both. The actor’s decision to use a chair as a prop was last-minute, and his own.

“The prop person probably thought he was going to sit in it,” a baffled senior aide said on Thursday night.

 Mr. Eastwood’s rambling and off-color appearance just moments before the biggest speech of Mr. Romney’s life instantly became a Twitter and cable-news sensation, which drowned out much of the usual postconvention analysis that his campaign had hoped to bask in.

It also startled and unsettled Mr. Romney’s top advisers and prompted a blame game among them. “Not me,” an exasperated-looking senior adviser said when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In interviews, aides called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.”

Eastwood ‘s reinvention as a performance artist became the story instead of Romney’s speech to the nation.  Nobody even cares about that.

Does Eastwood deserve to be being mocked so mercilessly?   Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.  He tried to have a debate with an invisible Obama and made himself look old, crazy and goofy all at the same time.   It was supposed to be inspirational, but all I saw was an old man up past his bedtime.

Even the inevitable “make my day” quip sounded creaky and tired.   Sudden Impact was 29 years ago.  It wasn’t my favorite Dirty Harry movie then and it’s as creaky and old as Eastwood is now.

When Clint walked off the stage did he think he won the argument with the chair?  Or was auditioning for a job providing the voice of Grandpa Simpson?

Even liberals who disagree with  Eastwood’s politics like his movies.  It’s his right to endorse anyone he wants, but it’s no fun to watch a beloved icon get old, go senile and start babbling crazy shit all at once.

There is speculation the Democrats might want to have a little fun by trotting out an octogenarian of their own as cool as Eastwood, but Betty White misses the target age ats 90 and unlike Clint,  still seems to have most of her marbles.   But what would be the point of dogpiling on Eastwood?   He embarrassed himself, upstaged Mittens and became the sensation of the convention for all the wrong reasons.  There is a statue of limitations to a joke and I doubt the Democrats will try to make the mistake of looking like they’re picking on Eastwood.

In Clint’s new movie, Trouble With the Curve he plays an old man who can’t do his job any longer due to his failing eyesight.  Nobody will have any trouble believing that story.

Eastwood’s claim to fame was killing off bad guys with a bang.  On the last night of the convention he left a lot of Republicans whimpering.