Saturday, September 1, 2012


Clint Eastwood addresses an imaginary Barack Obama
 seated in the chair to his left.   Getty Images
        I've always enjoyed Clint Eastwood's movies, but I didn't enjoy Clint at the RNC Thursday night.
        He looked seedy and unkempt, and his slurred speech and the way he stumbled over his words, made me wonder if he'd had too much to drink before he appeared.
        I don't think I'm the only one who thought his routine was totally inappropriate. Some of the delegates enjoyed his raw humor, but others, including Ann Romney, seemed uncomfortable with it.
        The Republicans had a grand time bashing the President, but no one, not even "Make my day" Clint, has the right to be so disrespectful of the President of the United States. Had the President actually been sitting in the chair, Eastwood would not have had the guts or the gall to address him that way.
        For the movie actor/director to respond to his imaginary conversationalist in a manner that suggested Barack Obama would use the kind of foul language Eastwood made it perfectly clear he was using, was offensive, and those who laughed at it were just as disgusting to me.
        Eastwood's unscripted routine was an embarrassment to the program planners, who have been trying hard to put their best spin on it. The not-such-a-mystery guest speaker displaced the video that would have set the stage for the Man of the Hour, Mitt Romney. Not only that, it wasted a valuable chunk of prime time television, when the networks were covering the convention.
        Because Eastwood ignored the clock, Senator Marco Rubio had to rush through his lengthy introduction of Governor Romney, who in turn appeared later than he was supposed to. The next morning the blogosphere was buzzing with comments not about Romney's acceptance speech, but about Eastwood's weird performance.
        The devil in me wants to say to the Republicans, "It serves you right!" But the better part of me rues the fact that millions of viewers had to be exposed to such a distasteful exhibition by the iconic Clint Eastwood.

PS Now it has been revealed (see this morning's NY Times front page article) that it was Candidate Romney himself who invited Eastwood to speak, following the actor's endorsement of Romney at a campaign fund raiser in Idaho earlier this summer. Romney's top aides, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, provided the talking points for Eastwood, who chose his own way to present them, ignoring in the process the blinking red signal to stop. Need we say more?

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