The Brilliance of Clint’s Empty Chair

Politicos and policy wonks have been parsing every major speech offered at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, each with his or her own lens.  (The exception is MSNBC, which apparently declined to parse several speeches by ethnic minorities.)  Some have commented on the gender-war content of Ann Romney’s statements; some have focused on the deep policy weeds of Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan.

But the most transformative moment — in its way, the most redolent of the Tea Party revolution — was Clint Eastwood’s conversation with an empty chair in which President Obama was not sitting.

One of the clearest tidbits recalled from my playwright studies was a device that effectively made a murder victim present on the stage. On a set of his house, during an interview scene with family members, the script called for the actor playing a detective to lean his hand on the dead character’s favorite rocking chair and “inadvertently” set it in motion.

What Clint Eastwood emphasized, with his seemingly improvised chat with the invisible Obama was the absurd notion of having a man-to-man talk with the Vogue-interviewee president.  Eastwood was a real celebrity expressing common-man ideas to a celebrity commander in chief.

Even more, Eastwood’s fame is founded in his being a character actor whose chief characteristic is to cut through nonsense. Tough and real; doing what needs to be done.

Viewers who found the speech peculiar (mainly those in academia, entertainment, and media, I’d wager) may have done so because Eastwood used a theatrical device in the service of the wrong script… from their point of view and according to their expectations.  As a thought experiment, they should imagine some other actor’s using the exact same gimmick at the Democrat National Convention, with a non-present Mitt Romney.

To be sure, an invisible, unapproachable businessman would be much more to type than a “populist,” progressive community organizer, just as the Occupy movement is much more in keeping with the established images of grassroots activism than the Tea Party.

Beyond the screen writer’s flair, though, the feel of Clint Eastwood’s convention speech was not of soaring political rhetoric, but of a movie awards ceremony, as if he were speaking to an audience of peers.  And there again is the unique character that he has been in the public imagination, as if we the people are his peers, not the glitzy stars. He introduced himself to the GOP audience as a “movie tradesman.”

What Eastwood did, with his extemporaneous air and unfilled chair, was to call bull**** on the increasingly untenable narrative that the Left has been weaving through all of the public institutions that it has spent decades infiltrating. He elevated to TV Land the shocking breach of story line and etiquette that hit YouTube years ago when angry citizens shouted down their Senators at town hall meetings.

The speech may not be a pivot point to a new reality in Hollywood, and the political side it serves may not win the day in November, but to the guardians of the elite, it was definitely a statement new, even though to the rest of us it was a very familiar sensation.



168 Responses to “The Brilliance of Clint’s Empty Chair”

  1. Reepicheep
    August 31, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    We must have been watching two difference "conversations."

    I love Clint and I hate Obama, but that was a low point for the night. He rambled, mumbled, and struggled to keep his train of thought. Not a proud moment for Clint or the GOP.

    • justinkatz
      August 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      There's no question that the performance was loose, and I wouldn't presume to judge how much that was acting and how much it was lack of preparation. The the effect was as I described; a pretended casual conversation with somebody presented in front of peers.

    • TMLutas
      August 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      It was unexpected, different, and I would be interested in hearing Clint Eastwood talk in the last, say 18 months. I am guessing he does not actually talk that way, that, in fact, he was playing a role that was focus tested and Romney approved. Think Jimmy Stewart in Harvey with Obama playing the role of the invisible pooka and I think you'd understand what was going on. What a deliciously well placed knife in a zone that's not usually susceptible to Republican barbs.

      Now what do you think about Mr Ken doll approving Clint's speech? That chair didn't get there on the stage without Romney knowing about it and approving of it. That makes the whole episode interesting. What kind of man has the balls to go that off convention script? It sure isn't Obama. Maybe there's something more to Romney after all.

      • Richard Smiley
        September 2, 2012 at 12:55 am #

        Your wish is easily granted! When my wife and I (and a friend) went to see "2016: Obama's America", one of the trailers shown was for "Trouble with the Curve" (http://troublewiththecurve.warnerbros.com/), in which Clint Eastwood is the biggest name (and delivers the most memorable line: "Get out of here before I have a heart attack trying to kill you.") See the trailer on the website.

    • Lou Ann Watson
      August 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

      watch it again…you were expecting something different than what he delivered. he actually does not ramble, but uses the stuttering and pauses as a theatrical device. he did that spontaneously as well…

    • oldbob1231
      August 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Clint's whole demeanor changed when he the speech was finished and he headed off stage. While I was initially discomforted by how he was speaking, I now believe it was all an act. After all he is an actor. Bottom line: I think he was brilliant

    • Michael Drye
      September 1, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Classic Eastwood. Did his job just like "High Plains Drifter". That rambling act was choreographed as only a multi-Academy award winning director and actor could pull off. It took off the emperor's clothes like the in the tank media for Obama will not do. Even if you think he rambled and was incoherent, try this: next time you listen to Obama talk, especially off teleprompter, count his "uhs". As a veteran Toastmaster and president of my local club 4 times, we would blow the "ooga horn" countless times in a typical Obama speech. I saw Eastwood in real time in the '60s on Rawhide and all the movies since. He was, is and will always be, a genius. We will see that "we own this country…if they don't do the job, we gotta let 'im go" line many times this fall.

    • lonestarlizard
      September 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      What were you expecting? A manificent political speech crafted by Peggy Noonan? A hate-filled diatribe akin to Jackson or Sharpton? Clint is, after all, 82 years young. Whether he was rambling on purpose or acting, he still made his point — time after time. You fail to see the biting humor and sarcasm displayed to our Marxist-in-Chief. As some of the other posters here have said, "watch it again", you may understand if you look closely.

    • Jake
      September 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      STFU you slimy icognito liberal

    • vickee
      September 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      Hes 82! I love Clint, and enjoyed his part at the RNC.. yes, at times a bit rough, but if you overlook the rough, you will see that what he said WAS RIGHT ON…

      Romney/Ryan

    • rcl
      September 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      He was great.

      Who else has had the nerve to portray Obama as a foul-mouthed, arrogant jerk? Twice the empty chair told his adversaries to "Go f&*^ themselves". Brilliant. Clint spoke to him calmly but portrayed him as hate-filled, stupid punk he is.

      As a tradesman myself, it was perfect.

    • suzy000
      September 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      I guess I am just as mumbled dumbled as Clint…I understood EVERYTHING Mr. Eastwood said…I never got lost in his dialogue….but then I was falling out of my chair with laughter.

    • Danny Ross
      September 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      You really didn't get it. Eastwood was playing a character: Jimmy Stewart's character, Elwood P. Dowd in "Harvey" to President Obama's "Harvey the Pooka", the 6' rabbit that only Elwood can see and hear.

    • preposterously
      September 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Keep thinking that… if you want to get the next bit from the White House. Whether intentional or not, the slowed cadence caused the audience to hang o every word. The pauses caused re-parsing of what had been said. the faux repetition of the missing party's statements caused a lot of thought to be put to the statements made by Clint.

      At the end of the day, it worked because :
      1. Everyone is still talking about it and even p[olitically disinterested people are starting to take notice.

      2. The purely political aides were scared stiff… while Mitt didn't even blink. Clint said what he believed, how he believed it. People don't begin to understand just how much of that Mitt counts on to keep his teams going… because it is definitely NOT the way D.C. works.

      3. Just thinking of what Plouffe and Axelrod are going to try to do that will be allowed by Dolores Umbridge… I mean Valerie Jarrett to try to duplicate this is causing me to smile a lot.

    • Ed
      September 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      Sorry, but you're WRONG. It was a poignant moment. I wish Clint had used some notes, but that might not have helped because that was the FIRST time I have ever seen him nervous. This was perhaps the most important thing he's ever done, and I think it scared him.

    • Kon Roos
      September 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      As a trial lawyer with over 200 trials over 51 years, some funny off message stumbling and mumbling is part of my shtick and success before juries…calculated…and I am 79 so I loved Clint's improv empty chair blunt tear down of Obama…..ever read Shakespeare who had to appeal to the masses with many of his characters addressing everything from fate to the weather to non present characters…..or are you compelled to ignore the fact that many of us "old white males" improve with longevity!…Kon Roos

  2. Max
    August 31, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Reepicheep,

    Not buying that line. Maybe my judgment is blurred by my fondness of Eastwood but I think he accomplished what he set out to do. Were you listening to the crowd? They loved it too. You are aware of his age right? It was a common sense man-to-man pull no punches conversation. I hope the President was listening.

    • Tom
      September 1, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      The President WAS listening. It got under his skin enough that he found it necessary to Tweet about it.

    • robert
      September 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      crowds love dog fighting too. maybe your judgment is blurred by your pathological hatred of a black man in the oval office….

      • Juan
        September 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

        Robert, why do people like you have to continuously pull the "race" card?. Do you always think "race" first in all your conversations? How about putting that aside and thinking what this president's ideology does to you, your family , the nation and the system? The promise of this great and exceptional land is not equality of outcomes,that is what the socialism/communism ideology does and we have seen how well that works,haven't we? The wise and yes,not perfect founders, promised us equality of opportunity so that each individual, according to their God or nature,if you want, given talents and strengths makes a better life not only for them but for their families and communities as well. Please,put down the kool aid and become part of the solution, stop with the resentment,anger,jealousy and hate of others and what they do or do not have, what they look or not look like. Those are not American values and as such,undermine what we(you included) ultimately would like to see happen in this exceptional place we call the UNITED states of America.

      • vickee
        September 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

        Nothing racist dear Robert about the RNC or from CLINT… you can only win by playing the race card, and we ain't buying it!
        Obviously you missed the awesome speechs by ARTUR DAVIS, CONDI RICE, MIA LOVE… LOL…

      • joanne
        September 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

        I am so sick of the racist charge..idiot. Is that all you've got?? I love that when you have no
        argument as to why oh why this socialist king should be given re election.
        Downgrade, debt, malaise, unemployment up the wazoo…get a clue moron.

      • ckweave
        September 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

        Why does everything have to be racial with you racists. Get a life.

    • vickee
      September 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      We all loved it! The crowd in Tampa, and the viewers at Home… WE LOVE MITT, AND WE LOVE CLINT.

    • M.R. Daniels
      September 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      His age had nothing to do with it. He had a script—it just wasn't the typical political script the mind numbed elitist expected. It was REAL, an Everyman's thoughts and words, and acted with the masterful nuances of an accomplished artist. It could have been any common person sitting in your living room, not polished by his handlers and slicked up with the oily finishing of what we know today as a politician. He deserves an award.

    • pjean
      September 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Also, the empty chair was totally a directorial move. Symbolic.

      The "empty chair" Presidency.

  3. plaverty
    August 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    It sure would be interesting if that was a Bill Maher or Michael Moore sitting with an empty chair for George W Bush. The left would have fallen all over themselves with their glee.

    • robert
      September 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      not likely. but for sure, fox news and the rabid right would have had their heads exploding over the outrageous disrespect for the presidency. what a typical hypocritical fool you are.

      • Robert Allen
        September 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

        You are calling someone a hypocrite NOT for something they did but for something that you IMAGINE that they might do? Umm… talking to any empty chairs lately Robert?

  4. exhelodrvr
    August 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    It is going to be interesting to see how Hollywood reacts to this. He has them stuck between a rock and a hard place – if they criticize him, they are validating the theme that they are ultra-liberal, and out-of-touch with a lot of America, and they will be “picking” on the elderly. If they don’t criticize him, they are not responding to his very surgical disemboweling of Pres Obama’s administration.

    • druucifer
      September 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      The only people criticizing Eastwood are people who are criticizing the quality of his performance. It's not exactly news that Clint Eastwood is a Republican. If the big bad Hollywood liberal media elite was going to backlash against him for supporting Republicans, don't you think they would have done it sometime in the last several decades?

      In fact, the big bad liberal media hasn't snubbed Clint Eastwood. Instead, they have showered him with awards, long after he was "out" as a conservative Republican. Just look at all of the honors he has received in the last few years: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000142/awards

      Clint Eastwood continues to be recognized because he's a great actor and he makes great movies. Gran Torino had some seriously conservative themes, but it was widely loved by liberals and conservatives alike because it was a good movie. You don't have to let your political preferences dictate your taste in film.

    • Edl
      September 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

      I vote for the disemboweling.

  5. Mark Kaulius
    August 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Reepicheep…..I call BS….Clint was great…in your face…talking to an empty chair representing Obama who is an empty suit representing the President…Clint is the guy next door, the neighbor down the street who never talks to you, never waves, never smiles but when the storm blows down that big ass tree in your yard and you are out there trying to cut it up..walks up with his super sized chain saw and pitches in….the uncle who fought in the war and you didnt even know it to you took him to see Saving Private Ryan and he cried all night….F u democraps…we built this nation…we walked on the moon, we saved the world for democracy….we fed the masses…we healed the sick..and we are going to kick your sorry asses out of office and out of the nation…own it…

    • Ethan Brown
      September 1, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      I wonder if it ever occurs to you that maybe most of us are Americans first and Dem/Reps second? My Dad rarely talked about the war, but when Saving Private Ryan came out he asked us all to go and see it, because he said it was the most accurate portrayal of WWII he'd sen, and then gathered us together and talked about his experiences liberating Europe. My Dad won the bronze star for his actions in battle. He fought for the liberty and freedom that you and I enjoy as Americans. Dad passed away last year, and was a lifelong Democrat. I'm also a liberal democrat, but many of my closest friends are died-in-the-wool conservatives, but we are all Americans first and view our political affiliations as secondary. Maybe when you love your country more than you love your party affiliation you can consider working with people like myself to make this country better and stronger. That's not likely to happen if you call me names like "democraps".

      • oldman
        September 1, 2012 at 11:51 am #

        Ethan, sorry to hear about your Dad. My guess is though he too would think that Obama and the current Dems are a disaster. In his language "FUBAR". He too would have laughed out loud in response to Eastwood's performance. Go back and re-view the Youtube performance carefully. You will find you can easily see it was both well-scripted AND well-done. It was the proverbial stiletto in the groin, the target looks up to face the camera and as he is dying he realizes what's just happened. A superb performance. Frankly, next to the Ryan "faded poster", it is the most critical viral meme the Republicans produced at the convention.

      • m0derateGuy
        September 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

        Well sorry to hear you democraps can't take; even if you think you can dish it out.

      • TMLutas
        September 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

        I had a friend of mine talk about an experience in a bar where an apolitical friend of his asked for the GOP convention on the tube because he thought Chris Christie is entertaining. There were four Democrats who got loud and started talking about killing Republicans. "Democraps" is just half the story and by no means the depths to which politics sinks these days.

    • AZ geo19
      September 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Mark, brilliant, you should be writing speeches for the Romney campaign…"if you were there, you know, if you weren't, you wouldn't understand " God bless each and every VET of every persuasion !!

    • JayValentine
      September 2, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      OUTSTANDING response. Yes, dammit, we own it!

  6. comatus
    August 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    And now, every single DNC stage eminence will Address The Chair.
    "We got to get us some of that re-fawm, Daddy!"
    "Ain't that right, little feller?" "He ain't lyin'!"

  7. Jim Treacher
    August 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    In order to protect Obama, lefties have to pretend not to understand that Eastwood was doing a bit. They have to humiliate themselves.

    Just kidding, they're not pretending!

  8. SanityInspector
    August 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Had the bit been scripted rather than extemporaneous, it might have been more effective. As it was, he came off as if he were doing a Jimmy Stewart impression, not altogether on purpose. Even Glenn Beck this morning was gibing about "that part where he actually formed words".

    • rich
      August 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      He was Doing a Harvey bit, the large invisible rabbit, Eastwood was great, listen to him when he was finished with the bit, he was all there.

    • Marilyn Tacoma
      August 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Don't you believe it wasn't scripted. He's an actor and a good one. The Empty Chair is a very strong psychiatric therapy exercise–you get to say what you want.

    • druucifer
      September 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I think it's telling that only second-tier Republican pundits are trying to defend Eastwood's mess of a speech. Most of the big mainstream pundits are at least intellectually honest enough to call out a bad speech when they see it (see also: Chris Christie).

  9. bandit
    August 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Would have been even better with an empty suit in the empty chair

  10. GFFM
    August 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Eastwood has a right to be cranky; he has earned his stripes. The baffled critiques from unabashed lefties isn't surprising: they don't have a sense of humor–at all. He was speaking for the 80s something generation and for all Americans and his generation got it–my 84 year old mother got it. She's Catholic, conservative, unsentimental, knows a flim-flam man when she sees him, has sense, and also has a sense of humor. She wouldn't have reached 84 without it. She isn't breathless about anybody; she swoons for no one and she judges a leader based on performance. The Chris Matthews and the coastal celebs will have no idea–none at all. They expect empty polish, banal rhetoric, platitudes. My mother and Clint want results; they want tenacity; they want someone who will work and be honest with ordinary Americans. The people who count understood his schtick and who cares if MSNBC didn't.

    • Azgeo19
      September 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      I want to meet your Mom, but don't tell my wife !!

    • Bob
      September 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      I'm 80 and I listened to the speech twice. Even better the second time. Clint's a good actor and a great director and at 82 puts to shame most of you younger pups!

  11. BobB59
    August 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I thought he was channeling his two good friends, Bob Newhart and Don Rickles. empty chair- one sided telephone conversation. "You have a message for Mitt Romney?….

  12. SomeOtherSteve
    August 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Actually, the chair should not have been empty. There should have been an empty suit on it.

    • SomeOtherSteve
      August 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      Dang, I should have read the comments before mine more closely.

    • PeopleSeat
      August 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Still marveling over the sublety of the empty chair. Of course we knew if meant an 'empty suit.' So did everyone else. But he didn't underestimate the audience like some Will Ferrell comedy. People who think it should have been an empty suit don't really respect the people…Oh, they understood what it represented….but maybe someone else didn't. But we all knew what it meant without having to be hit over the head with what it meant…because Clint was also communicating that he respected his audience as the true owners of the country…and not doddering old fools who need coddling by the government.

      And then the echo of Scott Brown's it's not Ted Kennedy's seat….it's the People's Seat. You see, it's an office…not a man…a cult. It's a JOB that we hire someone to do. A position in a company, a business. and if it doesn't work out…we unfortunately have to let you go….

  13. Jay From PA
    August 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Your observations are dead on my friend. Too subtle for some, too out of left field for others. His aim was dead and true as always. God bless the man..

  14. Carol Kostek
    August 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Clint Eastwood was brilliant, he’s not an award winning director for nothing. The hair do, costume, set, bumbling speech,all was beautifully directed and it worked. He was acting! And everyone is talking about today! Mainstream media has been bashing an ” old person” all day long( don’t Dems need that demographic?) Watch it again you’ll get it second time around.

    • Mary
      September 1, 2012 at 11:37 am #

      Bingo! Every single senior citizen, especially in Florida, watched as the Obama/MSNBC brats trashed him as a "doddering old fool," which he knew they would in their impulsive ignorance. You can bet your bottom dollar he's laughing even harder now, while the American public stands deeply offended by their response. (And they're too arrogant to even get it)

      Eastwood scores, BIG TIME.

    • Dan Lokey
      September 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      Thx I hadnt caught on that. I calculated it as preventing an Obama "I'm too busy with crisis X to debate you Mitt" More folks would watch Romney talk to an empty chair now than a real debate but Eastwoods performance is going down in the history books with Reagan's "I'm paying for that microphone"

  15. John Pearson
    August 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    At first, I thought Eastwood came across as somewhat scattered and disjointed, but the longer he spoke, the sharper he got. I re-watched the “speech” and realized some of my initial impression was based on concerns about what he MIGHT say or do. Eastwood created tension and then he provided release- Gotta let him go! I think he set us up!

    • Richard
      August 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Exactly correct. I read reviews of Eastwood's speech before I watched it and thought he would appear senile. Watching for myself I see none of that and instead a decent Jimmy Stewart monologue (Oh, how Stewart could have knocked this speech out of the park!). My only suggestion would have been for Clint to have some more overt mannerism to indicate he was listening to the "empty chair" because on a couple occasions he appeared confused for a few seconds when, in fact, he was pretending to listen to the chair.

  16. Nate Whilk
    August 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    “As a thought experiment, they should imagine some other actor’s using the exact same gimmick at the Democrat National Convention, with a non-present Mitt Romney.”

    Even money says we’ll actually see that.

  17. Nate Whilk
    August 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    The problem is that they have all the comedy writers, so it’ll be scripted, funnier and more effective. Not a pleasant prospect. Of course, they may be emboldened and may overdo it, which will be to their detriment.

    • justinkatz
      August 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      I don't know. I suspect it'll be mean spirited and broadly offensive.

    • Peem
      September 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Actually, the audience will be the independent voters who, after the massive publicity surrounding the Eastwood offering, will recognize any Democratic attempt as a "copycat" version.

      The pundits will like it, but the regular folks will see through the curtain!

  18. Pharmer
    August 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Eastwood seemed like he was rambling a bit, then he fired off three of Obama's offenses to common sense in rapid succession. I think he was well prepared, but was disarming his audience before firing his volley. His only possible shortcoming was not knowing how long to wait for the audience to chill back down before resuming

  19. @rbeccah
    August 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Eastwood's performance was political theater at its very best. It sent lefty so-called "street theater" to the dumpster for generations

  20. R.C.
    August 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    I don't think a lot of people appreciate the impact of The Empty Chair.

    Here's how it played, for me:

    I thought the timing was off, sometimes, and that the old-guy disjointedness, if feigned, was feigned not only too convincingly, but a bit too often, distracting from the humor of it.

    But I am left thinking it was all pretty brilliant, nonetheless.

    Basically, The Empty Chair is now the world's short-hand, their icon, their chat-room avatar, to represent Obama.

    I guarantee you: The Empty Chair as Obama is the next Internet Meme. Every trite pointless phrase that exits his mouth is going to be superimposed on a photo of an empty chair, like one of those LOLcats or the ORLY owls from years back.

    In fact, while watching it, I wondered if they shouldn't have had an empty suit, perhaps with a white shirt and one of Obama's more often-worn ties, propped up in the chair to make the point more directly. You know: "Just an empty suit."

    But, no, I decided: The Empty Chair is more accurate. The chair of President has been empty for the last four years. We've had an interregnum, a sede vacante situation. I mean, there's a guy there, sort of, but there's so little leadership you'd never know it.

    Oh, and with a teleprompter sitting in front of the empty chair, too! Classic!

    • Cist2012
      September 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      Leaving the imaginary-Obama of the GOP out of the picture, and objectively looking at the record of the Real-Obama, it is helpful to frame things in terms of a sports analogy. Obama took over the team in January of 2009 but the season didn’t start until October 2009 when the government year and Bush-era budget ended (all USA government years begin in October and run through September). When Obama’s government season began there was 10% unemployment and nearly 12 Trillion in debt. Since this time, federal spending as decreased more than any time in the last 60 years, taxes as a % of GDP were greatly reduced, unemployment was reduced by 17% (8.3/10), the number of federal employees was cut by over ½ million, Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, and a method for extending the solvency of Medicare and increasing benefits to recipients was put into place. This is the picture of Obama’s Presidential-Season based on Objective-Reality and not Opinionated-Rhetoric.
      Also, the Real-Obama as nothing in common with the Kenyan-born, radical communist, America-hating, economy-wrecking, and clueless Imagery-Obama of Donald Trump and GOP extremists. The real-Obama is a main-stream pragmatist that balances rational compromise with core convictions; attention to detail with a broad vision for a better America; and an understanding that while the government can help people, personal success is predicted on learning to help oneself.
      If Obama looses the presidency it will be primary based on swing voters buying the false caricatures of the Real-Obama and failing to see the real gains in employment, Medicare solvency, and spending reductions that have taken place during the real Obama-Season of presidential governance in America.

  21. PeopleSeat
    August 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    It was the boss calling in the employee for a performance review.

    You know we had such high hopes when we hired you….

    But that whole closing GITMO thing was stupid, especially after the company put so much into building that plant.

    I thought Afghanistan was going to be your product line? Did you do any research? How can you sell anything to anyone if your all talk and no action?

    Look 23 million in lost sales….it's a disgrace, we're going to have to let you go. You'll have to turn in the company car, but perhaps one of your own would be more suitable.

    Shut up? Look, I'm the boss and it's just not working out.

  22. Emma
    August 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Clint Eastwood’s short dialogue with the President Barak Hussein Obama, who was not “there”, could have been written by Jean Paul Sartre, but more likely by Saul Alinsky.
    With perfect irony, Mr. Eastwood choose to use the methods of Saul Alinsky, Barak Obama’s hero, to affect the Republican campaign in 2012. Mr. Eastwood crafted a dialog directly from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals– pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. The dialog was irreverent, imaginative, and humorous. As Alinsky stated, “the most potent weapons known to mankind are satire and ridicule". Mr. Eastwood used these weapons as skillfully as Dirty Harry used his. Yes, he is a fine actor.

    I missed the teleprompter last night, but got another laugh when I saw it today on the blogs.

    • Peej
      September 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Emma, you are so right!

      In the submarine force (I'm a retired dolphin), we called that "acquire, localize and shoot (stick a torpedo up his backside)! It usually results in nothing good for the target.

      Can you honestly say that when you hear Obama's name you will not help but think of that performance?

      Empty chair!

      Brilliant!

  23. JeffT
    August 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Eastwood was Grandpa weaving a story. He's 82 and worked without the safety net of a teleprompter. It was performance art. That's something when done by the Left is said to be so clever and edgy. But since he was skewering Obama, the Left, bereft of a sense of humor, found it offensive. That's tough. Eastwood and a lot of other people find Obama offensive and that was obvious last night.

  24. IHearYou
    August 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Suited me just fine – the "empty suit" and the "empty chair". . Clint, I salute you. I get it. Brilliant!! If the voters in this country continue on the Obama path, we're in big trouble.

  25. elkh1
    August 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    NW: "As a thought experiment, they should imagine some other actor’s using the exact same gimmick at the Democrat National Convention, with a non-present Mitt Romney."

    'Even money says we'll actually see that.'

    Ah, that would be another reminder of "lead from behind".
    Which actor dares to pitch himself against Eastwood?

  26. Budahmon
    August 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    The man with no name talking to a man with no substance……pretty effective if you asked me!

  27. Fore!
    August 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    I read the transcript of Eastwood's speech first and thought, Omigod, this man is senile and making a fool of himself, but after watching the video (and I've seen it several times now), I thought he was absolutely BRILLIANT. The empty chair and teleprompter were an ingenious touch for our Golfer-in-Chief.

  28. wally
    September 1, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Bravo Mr Eastwood Bravo !

  29. mls
    September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    I laughed and laughed and immediately realized the briliance… maybe because I, probably like many of my fellow citizens, have lectured to Obama about his economic obtuseness… usually talking to my mirror. It was great to see Eastwood do the same – and to use the 'empty chair'… because all one could think was how very much an empty chair Obama is. Further the same geniuses who are telling us how awful and sad Eastwood's performance was are the same folks who peddlled the 'conventional wisdom' that the American public would come to love Obamacare… this, like the ACA, again proves their "wisdom" is neither conventional nor wise.

  30. Mark J
    September 1, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    The chair bit is definitely being "deconstructed" by both the left and the right and possibly giving more credit to Eastwood than his skit deserves but …

    The chair remains. Obama cannot escape it now. It has become the symbol for him whether he likes it or not. An invisible man spewing invectives from an empty chair. This cannot be the image he wants.

    • ckweave
      September 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Hadn't thought of that, good take.

  31. Jerry
    September 1, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    My only misgiving is that empty chairs across the nation will rise up and start a class action suit against Clint for slander. They deserve better.

  32. chadwick
    September 1, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I enjoyed it more the second time. It was unexpected the first and kind of caught me off guard!

  33. bri
    September 1, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Eastwood was brilliant. Obama's head was cut clean off and the loony liberals still haven't realized it.

    Obama is an empty chair and Biden is the intellectual leader of the democrat party. I laughed so hard I started to cry, like Oprah then I stopped… and realized 23 million Americans are unemployed and started to cry again.

    It doesn't matter if you are Republican, democrat or Libertarian. In America when politicians who work for us, don't do the job we've got to let them go. Obama has failed, time to let him go.
    .

  34. Rockyspoon
    September 1, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Funny to see those shilling for Obama come in and try to skewer Clint.

    Notice they don't defend Obama–a man who is indefensible.

    That people would try to defend him is sad; maybe they'll consider the alternative and vote for a proven leader this time. What we had last time was a guy with no credentials and guess what? Over the last four Obama proved what we suspected–never hire a guy with no credentials.

    And that's what Clint's main message was all about.

  35. cjones1
    September 1, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Clint’s empty chair skit will endure although his delivery didn’t come off smoothly.

    Mr. Obama, like Jefferson Davis, also represents the party of lost causes as he attempts to implement the progressive/socialist/communist social contracts so loved by the left. I think that we will avoid the bloodshed and massacres of the last two centuries by lost cause supporters.

    The convention’s debt clock was certainly graphic but would have been better if it displayed the daily cost to each American…$4.5 billionof debt each day distributed among 300+ American is roughly $15/day – $5500/year – $22,000/year for a family of four. This burdens each man, woman and child.A former U.S. Comptroller states that the country actually is liable for $70.4 trillion if you add in future pension and entitlementcosts.

  36. James1
    September 1, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Thursday night, the media saw a doddering old fool who doesn't know how blessed he is to have B. Obama as his president. What I saw (and I expect most of the 30,000,000 people watching on television saw) was a double Academy Award-winning actor who knows how to keep his audience riveted on his every word while he delivers the message he wants them to hear. If the liberal media (a tautology, right?) fails to see what is in front of them, then they can "go ahead, make my day."

  37. warrl
    September 1, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    This webcomic page seems like an excellent summary…

    (Note: that specific page is 100% safe for work. The comic occasionally isn't.)

  38. valwayne
    September 1, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Clint Eastwood has always been one of my favorite actors. I always go to see any movie that he is in, or that he's directed. His performance at the convention was brilliant, and effective. You can measure its effectiveness by the frenzied hysteria that has come from the Obama campaign, and its minions in the left wing press, especially Obama's reelection network NBC/MSNBC. And its oh so typical that the most common smear coming from Obama and his minions against Mr Eastwood is that he is too old, and probalby senile. Senior Citizens should take a look at how Obama and the left attack someone, with whom they disagree, when they are 82 years old. They don't respectfully disagree, they just try and smear him as too old and senile. Do you trust Obama and people who will do that with your healthcare when you are 65 or older. Those people will cut off your care and let you die in a heartbeat. Back to Clint. He was brilliant and he has the one line from the convention that I will remember all the way to the voting booth: "when somebody does not do the job, we gotta let them go"!

  39. Mark Alan Barnette
    September 1, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    There is something I would like to offer on this subject. Has everyone noticed that Obama, his press contengent, Jay Carnival, and otherr representatives, always seem to oohm, uughh, ahhh, eehhhh!!!!…hinmiing and hawing consistantly when they are speaking, particularly when they are lying? They always do it and it sounds just like the "fumbling" part that Mr. Eastwood did the other night. I believe it was a subtle reference for what the left does in defending the indefensible. Their administration.

  40. Betty
    September 1, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    My God people he was playing an old geezer.. I loved it..

  41. Mark
    September 1, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    What isn't mentioned is how cleverly Eastwood played the audience. His halting speech made everyone pay even closer attention.

  42. MARY
    September 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Very insightful comments, everyone! What a delight to see Americans standing up for Clint Eastwood and his subtle brilliance. Thank you, one and all!

  43. Tom
    September 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    And none of them must be old enough to remember Bob Newhart, a comedic style Clint mimicked to a T.

    You know it was great because, A. Liberal Panties All in a big bunch. B. Liberal Pundits cackled like hens on and on about it. C. Everyone else loved it. D. We're still talklng about it days later.

  44. Jake
    September 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Every poll has given the speech positive reviews. WE CAN SEE THROUGH YOUR BS LIBERALS.

  45. oldman
    September 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Go back and re-view the Youtube performance carefully. You will find you can easily see it was both well-scripted AND well-done. It was the proverbial stiletto in the groin, the target looks up to face the camera and as he is dying he realizes what's just happened. A superb performance. Frankly, next to the Ryan "faded poster", it is the most critical viral meme the Republicans produced at the convention.

    • tpaine1
      September 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      I agree. Ryan's line was a classic:
      "College grads should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedroom staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life'
      Paul Ryan 8-29-12

  46. Chuck Tripp
    September 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    If you think that was just bad improv look again. I was wondering that myself when i noticed his hair. It was like he just woke up ot of bed. That's when I realized this was all just part of the act.

  47. druucifer
    September 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Mr. Katz has it backwards. The truly interesting reaction to Eastwood's speech comes from the few Republican pundits who are mindless enough to pretend that it was anything but a bizarre and embarassing trainwreck.

    This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. A bad performance is a bad performance. If the target of Eastwood's jibes had been Mitt Romney or George Bush or Ronald Reagan, it still would have been a bad performance. He seemed confused and disjointed, period.

    Eastwood's theatrical device could have worked. He certainly has the skill to deliver a captivating speech. If he had turned in a performance as half as good as his superbowl halftime commercials, he would have been remembered as a high point of the convention.

    But you can't let partisanship trump everything else. For whatever reason, Clint had a bad night and turned in a terrible speech. Just because he had a bad performance while he was attacking Barack Obama doesn't mean that Republicans have to pretend it was brilliant.

    • Curry Worsham
      September 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      Who died and made you Theatre Critic? What if when he seemed "confused and disjointed", he was ACTING!!!!! BTW, Bob Newhart's whole schtick was being constantly "confused and disjointed".

    • GFFM
      September 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Did you see Grand Torino? Did you see Unforgiven? Guess not.

  48. m0derateGuy
    September 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Hey, here is an idea; the Democraps can now put up an empty chair to represent the so-called "president" at their convention and have Michael Moore read his pathetic, droning, juvenile speech. President Empty Chair can then be utilized by the MSM/Obama campaign to beg more money from George Soros and Sarah Jessica Parker.

  49. DeeCamp
    September 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Of late the Pres has given local media softball interviews and avoided any tough questions by the White House Press Corp. Perhaps questions about his ipod workout list or red vs. green chili are of greater importance to his Progressive following. You don't want him feeding Republicans any more "You didn't build that" lines.

    • Curry Worsham
      September 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      I am sure you meant to say White House Press CORPSE, out of respect for our dear leader.

  50. janet
    September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    The critics of Eastwood's speech simply prove their shallow minds. First, CW was an actor but then he was an award winning director. That last is what he did brilliantly! The hesitation in his speech, the non-slickness – all of it was directed by him IMO. For his critics, he is still laughing at you or at least should be for your shallowness. What was his last line – Make my day! He was brilliant!

  51. Glenn Koons
    September 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    All of the speeches from Martinez, to Artur Davis, to Rubio and then to Ryan capped off by Clint's led to a solid commentary by Romney. ' Damn we're Republicans. Obama is so radical that his election night was the best feeling you had. We have to let him go. All of this is truth. And when one looks at the NYTimes list, the first 3 books are anti-Obama and the film , 2016 tells common sense voters, this Admin. , this guy, this WH and this Reid Senate are the most radical in our history. Clint's empty chair showed that the Obamaites are alien to our American heritage, history and values and….economic freedom. Time to let him go.

  52. ttaerum
    September 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Ah yes, the empty chair. But then Clint showed due respect to the chair as a representative of the office of the Presidency. After all, the chair remains but the occupants pass on.

    Personally I thought Clint showed due respect to the occupant of the chair. If I had been Clint I might have asked the occupant if he was proud of the huge debt he's passing on to his own children. I might have asked the occupant why we're doing so poorly in Afghanistan. I might have asked the occupant if we are better off than we were four years ago. Odds are, the occupant wouldn't have said a thing.

  53. Murf
    September 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    As conservatives, we have been forced to listen to the Liberal Hollywood Hogwash for years… Finally, we have a Hollywood icon that has the guts to tell it like it is… Sure, maybe his delivery needed a little 'prompting' but, damn, I loved it. But now the whining wachos can't handle the fact that 'one of their own' has turn-coated.. The 'Don't Bother Me With The Facts…Democrats" had best get used to it… There will be more..

  54. Rio
    September 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Clint Eastwood put some stinging welts on Obama's backside…of course his minions are pissed.

  55. D Franklin
    September 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Pure Ben Franklin! Clint channelled a founding Father.

    Cheers..

  56. GOP bizarro world
    September 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Wow, it's downright weird to watch the spin on this one.

    "in its way, the most redolent of the Tea Party revolution…"

    This is the only true statement in the article. Incoherent, aggrieved, cantankerous dementia: that's the Tea Party to a T.

  57. Bill
    September 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Clint’s delivery was all shtick. Classic vaudeville. But, it actually doesn’t matter what he said or how he said it. Everyone is now associating 0bama’s presidency with an empty chair. Mission accomplished.

  58. Cist2012
    September 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Leaving the imaginary-Obama of the GOP out of the picture, and objectively looking at the record of the Real-Obama, it is helpful to frame things in terms of a sports analogy. Obama took over the team in January of 2009 but the season didn’t start until October 2009 when the government year and Bush-era budget ended (all USA government years begin in October and run through September). When Obama’s government season began there was 10% unemployment and nearly 12 Trillion in debt. Since this time, federal spending as decreased more than any time in the last 60 years, taxes as a % of GDP were greatly reduced, unemployment was reduced by 17% (8.3/10), the number of federal employees was cut by over ½ million, Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, and a method for extending the solvency of Medicare and increasing benefits to recipients was put into place. This is the picture of Obama’s Presidential-Season based on Objective-Reality and not Opinionated-Rhetoric.
    Also, the Real-Obama as nothing in common with the Kenyan-born, radical communist, America-hating, economy-wrecking, and clueless Imagery-Obama of Donald Trump and GOP extremists. The real-Obama is a main-stream pragmatist that balances rational compromise with core convictions; attention to detail with a broad vision for a better America; and an understanding that while the government can help people, personal success is predicted on learning to help oneself.
    If Obama looses the presidency it will be primary based on swing voters buying the false caricatures of the Real-Obama and failing to see the real gains in employment, Medicare solvency, and spending reductions that have taken place during the real Obama-Season of presidential governance in America.

    • tpaine1
      September 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Why do I have to keep reminding Democrats that their Party took over control of "the nation's purse strings" following the '06 elections?
      That our first (of four now) Energy Crisis occured in '07 followed quickly by the Financial and Mortgage Crisis of '08 and then the Democrat's Great Recession of '09?
      Democrats still have effective control of the Congress by having a slim majority in the Senate which has refused to pass a budget in the last three years.
      "Crony socialsim" has produced "trickle up poverty" and "the most Americans EVER in poverty and on food stamps." That one things should embarrass Democrats instead of calling for more of the same for four more years.

      • Cist2012
        September 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

        The joy of rhetoric….

        trickle up poverty" and "the most Americans EVER in poverty

        The most Americans by numbers but no where near by %. That was the Great Depression and most don't blame Roosevelt for that number because he inherited a financial collapse……sound familiar?? It was Crony capitalism that caused the melt down and something the other Roosevelt (GOP Teddy) did everything in his power as a Republican President to stop with mechanisms that Paul Ryan know thinks are evil

        • tpaine
          September 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

          Ok, you're obviously painfully unaware of history.
          Good to know the 23,000,000 million Americans NOW unemployed isn't a concern to you. Socialism has NEVER worked any where, at any time, in any country in the world. You should be embarrassed, but no, you want four more years of THIS. What's it going to take? A return to soup lines. POLITICAL PAYOFFS = MIDDLE CLASS LAYOFFS.
          "Crony socialism" has produced trickle up poverty and given four more years, there will be no small businesses left and WE hire the bulk of Americans.

      • David Barry
        September 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

        Because they didn't. Around the beginning of '07, Bush (remember him?) finally discovered his veto pen. After that, beginning in '09, the Dems had a filibuster-proof majority (total control) for exactly 24 legislative days, between the end of sore loser Norm Coleman's challenge and the death of Ted Kennedy. These are facts, people. Or as Ann Romney would say "You people".

        • tpaine
          September 2, 2012 at 12:21 am #

          So, according to you, ObamaCare DID NOT pass? Trillion dollar budget overruns DID NOT pass? How stupid do you think Americans really are? Obama-Pelosi-Reid have gotten EVERYTHING they wanted.
          Why do Democrats have such a problem accepting responsibility for THEIR policies? I know – they didn't work worth a dam.

          • David Barry
            September 2, 2012 at 12:52 am #

            They didn't even get the healthcare plan that they wanted. They were shooting for a single-payer plan ala Hillarycare. So they compromised on the plan that Dole presented in '96 from the Heritige Foundation's individual mandate. Trillion dollar deficits are a holdover from your boy Bush. Obama has not reduced them but certainly has not increased them. They wanted a much larger stimulus. The one that we got contained 350 bil worth of tax cuts(hmm…why didn't they create any jobs?), with which I'm certain you approved. And they have certainly not gotten anything since 1/11, due to the other parties "patriotism".

      • tpaine
        September 2, 2012 at 12:31 am #

        POLITICAL PAYOFFS = MIDDLE CLASS LAYOFFS

        Romney/Ryan 2012

    • Juantolduso
      September 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

      dear "C ommun..ist"2012; you are whistling way past the graveyard on this one. Obviously, with your eyes and ears shut! First ,you call it "objectively" and proceed to talking points straight from the Obama camp. To you and your cohorts, It is never your "team captain's or coach for that matter,fault. The facts are the facts, your idol said he would fix it! If that was the real objective,from January to October 2009,and according to your logic, a good coach would have made "preparations" for the first game of the season. Instead he capitulated to the left extremists(i.e. Pelosi and Reid) and let them run the plays. In their case,they wanted a very large entitlement that would "measure up to the historic moment" of the election,so they slammed Obamacare down the American people's collective throat and against the vast majority(which btw,is still opposed by a majority) of the people's wishes. Talk about contempt and arrogance for the wishes of most Americans? WOW,incredible. All other talking points are so easily debunked,that it is not even funny. I'll give your idol the Bin-Laden credit when he without "braggadicious" arrogance shares his good decision with those who risk their lives to make us proud and make him look good. Next,how do you improve the insolvency of a program by taking 716 billion dollars from it? Please tell whoever is giving you the numbers at the DNC, to stop lying to you! Your idol is even worse than Jimmy Carter, Carter never attacked the system nor the businesses that support your precious entitlement programs. From the class warfare and envy,from sowing the seeds of resentment and jealousy to the crass "the system has never worked" comment, I can see why you are happy ,but not many others. He may not hate it,but surely he doesn't show with his actions any different, and that may be the real issue,or one of them, his indifference. He is presiding over the dismantling of this, the greatest and most exceptional country ever established and all this while being indifferent and arrogant.Next, how do you spend 5+ trillion dollars,run yearly trillion dollar deficits and with a straight face say that these are spending "reductions"? Was your idol plan to spend more?,to run higher yearly deficits? Was that supposed to "improve the life of the nation? Clearly your blinders are on or you are David Axelrod,one of the two,or the two!

      • Cist2012
        September 1, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

        My information comes not from the Obama camp but:
        US Department of Labor Statistics website
        Wikipedia
        Fackcheck.org

        The points that I mention are not objectively debunk-able because they are facts that you can look at the above sites. You can debate why the facts I relay happened, but the objectively referenceable facts are not up for debate.

        Facts are not about cohorts or spin or interpretation, but about facts. During Client’s administration the national debt was balanced and the deficit was reduced. These are facts that Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton both spin to their Narrative and take credit for.

        I am a rational pragmatist. I have voted for more Republicans than Democrats. What kills Freedom is not delusional ravings about Obama but citizens of good intent that don’t do their own checking into what they are being presented. Don’t take my words for anything, look it up for yourself. Opinion is not fact and the things I mention are fact-based math and have nothing to do with anyone’s camp or my mindless idolizing of the current President of the United States.

        • Juantolduso
          September 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

          You mean the same department under the current president?,really? or the "user friendly" wikipedia? Come on, factcheck,you mean the same one "factcheck" who said "Obamacare will come to cost "just under" one trillion dollars? really? It sounds like you are really an irrational dogmatist, trying to explain and excuse socialism/communism as "good" systems. My relatives still in Cuba, and therefore I know how their decline started, they've fallen and can't get up! You still have not pose a serious argument to my points. What kills freedom is a government centered life, the founders knew it and that is why they told us so.

  59. Bill Rowe
    September 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Eastwood evoked the laconic western rancher and the iconic image of people of the Dust Bowl era, the plain American of the Depression era. I can imagine this talk from a rancher in Montana. I'm surprised he didn't give a dirty look and spit tobacco juice.

    In other words, I believe his ramblings were part of a role, an aw shucks, down-to-earth plain ole person.

    The empty chair was brilliant. On it I could imagine an empty suit.

    Clint Eastwood is cool, way cooler than Obama. Clint is so cool that he is himself regardless of what others think. Most others try to be cool in the eyes of other people; Clint is beyond that, he is just who he is.

    Pay attention to what Clint said, not how he said it, because the focus on how he said it is the distraction.

  60. Sooner
    September 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    If Obama loses the presidency, it will be because people realize that we have had an empty chair for four years — ENOUGH

  61. eecaire
    September 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I don't know if he intended for his performance to age brilliantly but it has.

    He let no one forbid him to point out "smelly little orthodoxies," cutting across party lines as he then gathered party members together to tell them that they were the best.

    Their kids go to war, voluntarily. Their kids people a stage with Olympians. Their kids sing gospel, they sing ballads. They're the adopted sons of working-class people who then go on to invent the Mac and Lotus.

    Tradesman, he said he was. Unassuming competence and the courage to tell the truth are an unbeatable combination. Only Romney can lose this race for himself.

  62. tpaine1
    September 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    The Democrats are having a cow and that makes it all the sweeter.
    His line about Biden being "the intellect of the Democrat Party" had me rolling in the ailses.
    Thanks Clint. You made the Convention just that much more memorable.

  63. Sooner
    September 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Sooner — I agree with those who described Eastwood's performance as briliant. He was even more impressive the second time I watched. He cut Obama to pieces — I loved the line about the trial in NYC. His comments about "time to let him go" and "we own this country" — marvelous.

    This will come to be regarded as one of the more memorable performances from political conventions along with Clinton's lengthy nominating speech in 1988, McGovern's middle-of-the-night acceptance and the 1968 Democratic Convention in general.

    Conventions have become so scripted and boring — no wonder everyone is talking about Eastwood. The Democrats will not be able to match his performance.

  64. Travis
    September 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Clint Eastwood was far more commanding and in control than any of us realized. Brilliance.

  65. ckweave
    September 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Clint was absolutely genius on so many levels. I am glad the author expressed it so well.
    Clint appealed to both the super intellects and the average person. Makes you wonder what it says about why most of the media didn't get it.

    He put the Hollywood lefties between a rock and a hard place.

    Many people who don't care about politics have now tuned in an got the message – fire the big O. We can thank the pseudo-intellectual self-absorbed left wing media for that.

    It was funny as hell. It was brilliant, and it may have put Romney over the top.

    Thank you Clint. Thank you Mitt, Paul, and Ann for your great speaches. Finally thanks to all the young, diverse, well spoken, successful, up and coming group of Republican speakers. If a large majority of the American public doesn't get it, then there is no hope for the countries future.

    • Cist2012
      September 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      If a large majority of the American public doesn't get it, then there is no hope for the countries future.

      I agree and luckily most of the American public think Clint was a bit off his rocker and that using the F-word to describe how the president communicates is way out of the norms of what goes for civil discourse. I enjoyed the performance but for a whole set of different reasons then you did. Clint remains one of my favorite actors and directors but his performance art at the RNC did not help the GOP in the eyes of the majority of the American people….AKA the mainstream

      • ckweave
        September 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

        I don't know what you think you heard, but the F-word was never used. Would it be fair to say if you imagined that word was used, then it must be civil discourse.

        • Cist2012
          September 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

          Please…………"you want Romney to do what to himself, I can't tell him that."

          Clint said this this twice and everyone know what he meant. Appropriate for SNL maybe but not the RNC convention right before the main event. I actually found Clint funny but highly inappropriate in the settings given.

  66. Dan Maloy
    September 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Clint was WESOME!!!! I thought he was rambling a bit at first but then when you watch it again you can see he really doesn't ramble as much as you first think. Proof of that is in the fact that when he makes his key arguments against Obama (millions of jobs lost, GITMO, Afghanistan, he's a laywer and no one likes lawyers, this is O-U-R country, AND…..politicians work for US!) there wasn't any rambling or incoherent speech. He just said it flat out: Obama has FAILED us.

    Mr. Eastwood, Sir, I liked you before for your tough, quiet, no-nonsense characters, but after your speech, I'll LOVE you forever!

    Romney, and common sense, 2012

    • Dan Maloy
      September 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Typo, make that "AWESOME!!!" Sorry.

    • Cist2012
      September 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Explain Client's brilliance on GITMO to me and why, according to his logic we should not elect a Harvard educated Law Graduate like Romney?

  67. Curry Worsham
    September 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Don't forget the favorite cartoon of the left, Doonesberry. They just laughed and laughed when the invisible Dan Quayle and later, the cowboy hat with no body were skewered daily. Eastwood was throwing that right back at 'em. It's just not fair when YOUR guy is getting ridiculed on primetime TV. Republicans should stop throwing him under the bus and thank God that they have people like Clint on their side. I guarantee you he carefully wrote and rehearsed that "improv" piece and knew exactly what he was doing the whole time. Brilliant!

  68. emelks
    September 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Mr. Eastwood knew EXACTLY what he was doing. The mussy hair was intentional. The scatterbrain mumbling was intentional. It was ALL intentional, as a frame for him to speak his mind to the POTUS and the rest of the country.

    All the idiots calling him a "doddering old man" are painfully clueless.

    He knew precisely what he was doing and he did it in such a way that it hit the mark dead center.

    Bravo, Mr Eastwood! Encore! Encore!

  69. Bob Alou
    September 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Clint was both brilliant and the high point of the convention.

    I thought he was doing "The Emperor's New Clothes," in effect ridiculing the zany left that still claims to see substance in a man who is for all practical purposes invisible, non-existent, leads from behind and who is obviously in way over his head. In that empty chair was exactly what the media created – nothing. He hasn't gotten the job done and should be let go because this is our country and the politicians work for us. Replace him with a businessman – a stellar one.

    Pitch-perfect, Oscar caliber, powerful performance by Clint that blew the left's head clean off.

  70. jayme sousa
    September 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Precisely the point. Clint Eastwood, pulled a step every aspiring actor has to go through…there were so may levels Clint Eastwood's little 9 minute scene operated on was enormous. Anybody in acting, movies, stage or otherwise, knew from the get go what was happening.

    And the silence in the convention proved it. It was gripping, a one man show, every ear, every eye was riveted upon Clint's mastery of "The Chair." That's the name of his act. Then he closed with a short statement encapsulating the last 11 minutes of his "one-man show." His shaky, rambling staccato delivery was in oposition to Obama's slick, practiced "promppter" sceances. Masterful!

    Anybody who's had to perform before a Director, with a prop, knows the challenges they face in being able to portray "the momnet, message and ambiance." Clint ROCKS! "Make-My-Day! You dah man!

  71. labman57
    September 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Eastwood was giving an interpretive performance as Elwood P. Dowd … with Barack as Harvey the imaginary rabbit, complete with imaginary profanity. The crowd went wild, but the rest of the nation went "WTF?"

    Eastwood's bizarre, rambling one-man act was a perfect addition to a convention which was laden with nonsensical commentary, revisionist history, and theatrical farce.

  72. Ima Hick
    September 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Whether Eastwood was a genuine "disaster," or a calculated one will depend on whether or not there is an announcement within the next year or so by his publicist that he is suffering from Alzheimers. My guess is there won't be (watching his newest film about an old baseball scout misjudged by the know it all front office types should help inform). I figure his routine was carefully scripted (by him).

    He was doing two things: combining an inverted satire of an angry old Charlton Heston (who was suffering from Alzheimers) rambling from a convention podium (NRA not GOP) about taking his guns away, and a Bill Maher stand up act. Clint was gentle not angry, and his dialogue with himself was bound to invite comparisons with how vulgar comedy is used to service political humor on the left (remember Whoopie Goldberg's Bush joke.) at peculiar venues.

    Now I don't think this sort of "post modern" stuff at political conventions is necessarily appropriate, but it was, I suspect, a purposeful satire. When Ed Schultz called it "demeaning" he was not being inaccurate, but a recognition that it is demeaning is a recognition that so much about culture generally these days is demeaning, and invites close scrutiny of what goes on in Charlotte for similarities.

    If Eastwood's career were nothing more than that of a melodramatic action hero actor in spaghetti westerns, you could dismiss him as some sort of cultural reactionary, but that is not the case. The guy who directed "Letters From Iwo Jima" cannot be so dismissed,

    Note: I am not a Republican, and I generally do not like the (genuinely) reactionary, unfunny, and crypto-racist nature of the GOP today, but the left should handle a genius like Clint Eastwood carefully.

  73. AuntieZeituni
    September 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Its actually quite difficult to distinguish between Obama and an empty chair, except possibly on "The View" with all of the girlish screaming going on there

    • traeh
      September 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      Is the View part of a secret conspiracy to make women look stupid? Hey! Maybe Baba Wawa and Whoopie are controlled by a brain chip tuned into a control panel in Mitt Romney's underground headquarters. Mitt makes the women on that show say the most incredibly stupid things, all part of his plan to prepare a return to a totalitarian Stepford Wives future, like back in the 1950s! The War on Women! There's no escaping it!

  74. rabbit
    September 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    How many empty chairs will find their way onto front lawns over the next two months, a call to fire America's top employee?

    "Empty chair" may even become a permanent byword for politicians who aren't getting it done.

    And of course the MSM will be clueless over what it's about, as they were Thursday night. That's the only part I'm sure of.

  75. traeh
    September 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    I'm really surprised at how many people — including on the right — simply did not get it when it came to Clint's performance. You can be for Obama if you want. You can be against Romney. But Clint — even if the stuttering or hesitation was real — was f-ing brilliant. All the unimaginative tools who found the performance "weird" only show a pathetic lack of creativity and imagination. Since when did the whole world become so feeble at thinking outside the box? People ought to get out a bit more and stop watching only stuffed suit politicians with boilerplate brains, or hopelessly prosaic journalist-intellectuals apparently without a playful or poetic bone in their bodies. Clint's a million times better than any of the pseudo-intellectual tools who didn't get his performance. Blame it all on yourself cause he's always Clint Eastwood to me.

  76. John Hays
    September 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Actually if we vote for Romney, we are in trouble; unless we earn 1M + a year. Wake up teabaggers!

  77. nancy adams
    September 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    BRAVO! CLINT ROCKS! Shear brilliance in using the symbolic “empty chair” to portray a president whose absence of promised leadership has led this great country onto the miserable path of economic ruin with BAD fiscal policies. This country’s leadership needs to stop punishing the industrialist wealthy because the rest of the country gains employment in factories and businesses in order that the wealthy industrialists get more wealthy! Bring back FREE ENTERPRISE and reduce the size of Big Government!

    business the rest of us are reaping the benefits of employment t

  78. Ole
    September 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    After thinking about what Eastwood did and and said, I realized that he addressed the key issues with a clarity that we have rarely seen from politicians since Obama told Joe the Plumber that "when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody." . A simple and direct one-liner of a socialistic ideology that all could easily understand. In the same way, I think several of Eastwood's comments will be repeated over and over because they so clearly and succinctly communicate the essence of the situation as he sees it. I have no doubt that “When somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let him go.” has already been included in an ad coming to your TV.

  79. Barry Levy
    September 2, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Eastwood was brilliant.

    And we do know that if a lib did that to Romney they response would be so different.

    Sort of like when a lib calls women b**, c**, wh****, MILF and makes sexual jokes about their children and NOW takes a pass on that sexist and piggish behavior.

    Reminds me of when Clinton was abusing his power and engaging an intern in inappropriate behavior.

    NOW members spoke of getting their Monica knee pads.

  80. jhk
    September 2, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    All these posters are the same old angry white incoherent white men instilling fear and paranoid.

  81. Francis Lee Coleman
    September 2, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    It was an edgy performance. I was nervous that he was going to fall the first time I saw it. But the second time I realized that it was scripted to a word .That all of his comments were very cutting and 100% on target was no accident . An Oscar worthy performance made even more enjoyable by exposing as stooges anyone who pretends not to get Mr. Eastwood's very clear message.

  82. Kenn the Dem
    September 2, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Considering Obama's time spent campaigning, vacationing, golfing and date nights; it seems only appropriate for Clint Eastwood to interview and empty chair!

  83. Bill Smith
    September 2, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Comic Genius!!!

    Funnier yet…..most Libs. don't get it or they are angry LOL

  84. LanaChurner
    September 2, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    I am tickled to see the Left go on such a rant over this bit by Mr Eastwood.
    Especially those Hollywood and artiste types who seem to have missed the boat completely on it's meaning.
    A disheveled, doddering old man, mumbling semi coherent, incomplete sentences. Speaking to a chair while the crowd gasps and strains to listen to his dithering.
    It was brilliant. It was the piece de resistance of the entire convention.
    Mr. Eastwood I applaud you.
    Not only for your words and sentiments. But also for your art.
    The Left, especially those who think they are so much better than we the unwashed masses, missed your point.
    The point wasn't your senility. The point was the power of your words.
    They got through Because of the mumbling. They got through to the nation Loud and Clear.
    This little skit will be studied by the political science types and the theater types for years after Obama has left office.
    And what will be remembered is Eastwood's fine political art and Obama's doddering ways.

  85. Tom Dreesen
    September 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    He is my friend for many years.Trust me he knew exactly what he was doing and he reached the people he intended to reach. People on the left and right have had their minds made up a long time ago and nothing he could say would change that. My son-in-law said it best when he said "I don't understand politicians when they go on and on with their promises and scripted words. But I understood Clint Eastwood the other night and got his message. The politicians don't own this country we do and if they're not doing the job then we have to let them go. Also what is wrong with having a successful businessman run the country ? Do you think any of your criticism makes any difference with him. Trust me he doesn't give a dam what you think. He's a self made man and got there doing it his way. Bravo my friend. I'm very proud of you.

  86. RonTruth
    September 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Clint Lostwood, you must understand, actually thought he was talking to a human being. The empty chair was merely a reflection of Clint's empty head. Drunken soughts are very often delusional to the point of hypnosis, rendering them to appear to be hallucinating. In Clint's case, he may very well have been just that: HALLUCINATING. Kinda like his party is right now. Their collective "high" will pop like a hellium balloon when it has risen high enough that there is no oxygen in the air.

  87. @mastadonarmy
    September 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Clint was great and now the left are bashing him. Pathetic.
    I made this #emptychairday photo of the Lincoln Monument. http://twitpic.com/aqj6bi

  88. Linguist
    September 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    All I know is that I began to watch it and had this increasingly uneasy feeling—very similar to the one I had when an elderly relative of mine stood up at a wedding and started what can only be described as a rant. It was incoherent, and embarrassing.

    I like Clint Eastwood a lot. But to put him in this situation is absolutely unforgivable. Whoever ok'ed this should be fired immediately.

    Incidentally, after trying to watch for about 10 minutes (much of it through the hand shielding my eyes from it), I turned off the TV. Never got to Gov. Romney's big speech.

    Was that the intention of the organizers as well?

  89. life5678
    September 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    What I find amazing is that the pundits all missed the real brilliance of the Eastword appearance at the convention. The effect on the millions of seniors. They can all deeply relate to Eastwood's performance. How do you think they feel now hearing the democrats calling him a senile old crackpot? What state was that convention? That's right, Florida, which Obama just lost as a result. Excellent work GOP!

  90. Dan
    September 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    I grew up watching and loving Clint Eastwood the actor. He also showed himself for the most part to be at least of reasonable intelligence. No, he was never an intellectual, but neither is he one who "speaks to everybody"
    Frankly, the concept was brilliant, but Clint blew it. I don't care that people at the RNC laughed or thought it was great. The fact is, they are already mentally impaired to make sound judement as they are extremely biased just by being there.
    Had he had clear points instead of mumbling and babbling it would have had tremendous impact, but as it turned out, it was just another act in the Romney Clown show.
    I felt sorry for Clint as I watched it, becaue I knew he was making a fool of himself, and that's a shame.
    He was a great actor.

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