Patt Morrison for August 31, 2012

Clint Eastwood’s unusual shtick sets a strange stage for Romney’s acceptance speech

US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Actor-director Clint Eastwood speaks to the audience at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, 2012 on the last day of the Republican National Convention (RNC).

The 2012 Republican National Convention wrapped up last night with Mitt Romney’s official acceptance of the nomination for their party’s candidacy for the general election in November.

This election season’s convention in Tampa, Florida featured a condensed schedule courtesy of Hurricane Isaac, speeches by a carefully selected number of conservative speakers and a moment of sublime absurdity provided by the appearance of 82-year-old legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood.

The grizzled and gentle man who brought us "Dirty Harry" and the iconic loner gunslinger in scores of Westerns has now given birth to a new meme called ‘Eastwooding.’ In his speech, which appeared immediately preceding Romney’s acceptance speech, Eastwood spoke to an empty chair which was intended to represent President Barack Obama, saying things like, “Mr. President, how do you handle promises that you made when you were running for election?"

The chair, of course, did not respond, leaving many viewers befuddled, members of Romney’s staff scratching their heads and political pundits spinning the awkward moment in various directions. By Thursday night, the Internet was ablaze with discussion and pictures of people and pets addressing empty chairs.

Clint Eastwood previously appeared in a Chrysler television advertisement that was shown during the Superbowl on February 5, 2012.

WEIGH IN:

Did Eastwood’s peculiar political improv overshadow what may very well have been Mitt Romney’s latest make-or-break moment? How did Clint’s speech help or hurt Romney’s chances in November?

Guest:

James Rainey, LA Times Reporter covering the convention


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