By Michael Baker
Last night, the RNC handed the podium over to a “surprise speaker,” the only speaker of the entire convention who was allowed to ad-lib his speech. Now I understand why these things are always so scripted.
Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood rambled through his loosely planned remarks for about twelve minutes. What he had to say was no different from what we’d been hearing all throughout the RepubliCon – Obama’s no good, and Romney’s…well, not Obama. But he did it in such an inarticulate way that it left many viewers – myself included – wonder “how much longer are they going to let this go on?” The Republicans will never admit it, but this was a very public embarrassment.
That’s what they get for letting a famous face with no political background hit the stage and basically just speak his mind. No doubt Eastwood’s star power had a lot to do with the decision to let him go rogue. Who knew the guy would have trouble maintaining a coherent stream of dialogue for more than thirty seconds at a time? The central focus of the speech was an empty chair, in which an imaginary Barack sat while Eastwood conversed with him. Am I the only one who got the impression that Eastwood often sits at home alone having conversations with imaginary political figures?
Lucky for the ‘pubs, Romney stepped in and made his predictably hollow remarks, and the crowd ate it up. But that’s not so interesting because we all knew it was going to happen. Romney fired up the Republicans with his RNC speech? No shit. But the things you can’t predict – the things you’ve never seen before and will never see again – are the ones that people talk about. And right now, I’m talkin’ ‘bout Dirty Harry.