The Carmel, California Pine Cone scored an interview with the former mayor, Clint Eastwood, and asked him about his memorable performance at the Republican National Convention last week. There isn’t much that could be added to Clint’s analysis of the event, rendered through these selected quotes:
“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.”
“I had three points I wanted to make: That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”
“It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen. I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”
“A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama.”
That’s in line with my thoughts about the effectiveness of Clint’s performance, and it nicely explains why the assembled forces of the mainstream media completely missed it. I’ve rarely seen conventional wisdom switch so quickly, from “Clint Eastwood was a weird embarrassment” to “Eastwood’s performance was such a brilliant master stroke that a terrified Obama had to duplicate it, in the most transparently obvious way possible, by adding a few Hollywood stars to his convention.” Now they’re saying an “Eastwood moment” will probably become a permanent feature of all future conventions.
Clint Eastwood wasn’t talking to the blow-dried network anchors who get leg tingles when they hear the latest tired, rehashed Obama speech. His intended audience of normal people heard and understood him perfectly. He told the Pine Cone that when he left the RNC, people were chanting lines from his speech in the crowd outside.
Dirty Harry also confirmed he was shooting from the hip during his speech, and couldn’t even tell Mitt Romney’s campaign staff what he planned to say before he started talking. He improvised the “Invisible Obama” bit because someone kept offering him a chair to sit down before he went onstage to speak.
The actual candidates can’t get away with stuff like that. A little bit of strange goes a long way toward making a speech memorable, and someone like Clint Eastwood has far more latitude for unusual speaking tactics than any candidate for office would. Obama’s sad attempt to recapture the Eastwood magic fell totally flat because his gaggle of actresses didn’t do anything except repeat the same tedious talking points and myths everyone else at the Democrat convention had offered a thousand times. They should have been humble and perceptive enough to take lessons from the old pro… but then, if they were humble and perceptive, they wouldn’t be pushing Barack Obama.