Eastwood upstages Romney at RNC

I love Clint Eastwood. I’ve loved him since he first appeared as Rowdy Yates in the TV series “Rawhide,” way back in 1959. I loved him through all the spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry movies and everything else he’s done. I probably loved him most in Gran Torino as a cantankerous old Korean army vet. But I didn’t love him tonight when he spoke at the Republican National Convention. He’s an 82-year-old man and he looked and acted every bit of it tonight. His “speech” was hesitating and rambling and convinced me only that he is indeed an old man. It saddened me; I was embarrassed for him.

I don’t know what the Republicans expected from Eastwood, but his appearance tonight did accomplish one thing. It got me to tune in for the first time this week. (I left the TV on through Romney’s speech, only half listening. As nearly as I could tell, he was the same boring, vacuous, vague man as always, with that same tight-lipped, apologetic, “aw shucks” smile.)

Sorry, Clint. I still love you but you bombed tonight. Big time. Unless, of course, you intended all along to have everyone talking more about your performance than about Mitt Romney’s speech.



Categories: Election 2012, Politics, Romney, video content

10 replies

  1. Well. I didn’t watch this last night, but I appreciate your reprising it for me this morning, PT. I actually got about 40% through it before giving up. I agree with your sentiments – couldn’t be said any better.

  2. I thought he did okay. He obviously would have done worse if he’d been drunk. You’re right, he did indeed look old, which I found somewhat depressing, but that’s how it is – he IS old. In any case, I was not surprised he was giving this speech. Though he frequently has viewpoints that do not exactly match the conservative movement, the majority of his views are likely in line with them. It’s not so much their particular philosophy that he believes in, but more their vision of pure capitalism and complete independence from government support (you know, small government, low taxes, and no help for anyone who can’t help themselves). This has always been the flaw with their vision. Not that it doesn’t have benefits and doesn’t have a place, but it ignores the simple reality that many people do require assistance, and many people need government regulation and aid in order to function. Sans that, a great number of things fail, and you end up with a large lower class. Capitalism works great when resources are cheap and rapid growth is possible. In the real world, that’s less and less the case. This shows the need for a mixed solution, which is one the conservatives have decided to completely ignore rather than consider.

    The liberals, for all their perceived socialist leanings, haven’t actually adopted socialism, but have instead tried to find middle ground between it. This is necessary, and also inevitable as the global economy grows up around us. Capitalism is not dead to the liberals. It is embraced. But so are aspects of socialism – the concept that the government needs to give something to the people other than roads and military security. In a purely conservative society, we would have no social security, medicare, medicaid, or entitlement programs. In a purely socialist society, we would have all of these things to a much larger degree and much higher taxes. Democrats skirt the middle ground, while Republicans drag their feet in every way, adhering to their vision of a 1950s America that cannot and could not function in today’s global economy. Democrats are no where near as extremist in their socialist leanings as Republicans are toward capitalism.

    Right now, the balance we need is slanted more toward the Democrats. Not that there aren’t aspects of the conservative movement that also have a place, but they’d like to rely on the private market to do everything, as if it is an engine that if unleashed would solve every problem. In a global economy, this is far from true. There is another way, a middle ground, and both sides need to find it. If only they were willing to work together to do so. Private industry is powerful. It can do a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean we need to pull the plug on social programs and let half the population drop into low paying jobs with no health care or retirement.

    • I agree with your balanced reasoning on the political conflict, dood. I just wish conservatives shared it. The emotions on display at the RNC are not a pretty sight: petulance, resentment and the disingenuous repetition of the phrase taken out of context, “We built it.” Their behavior is not that of job creators but of children.

  3. His speech wasn’t the bold dramatics people were expecting. Not sure he bombed (I wasn’t really paying attention), but was diminished.
    Like many, wish there was more middle ground and less strutting and blustering / polarization / angry speech from both sides.

  4. Jim, Dood, Phil, I couldn’t agree more with all three of you. We need both parties to come together somewhere in the middle and start working together (“compromising”!) to get things done and get things moving again.

    As for Eastwood, I didn’t entirely disagree with what he said. I’m just sad that he rambled around the way any old man would when telling one of his “back in the day” stories in an informal gathering. I suppose I expected a well-rehearsed performance from a carefully written script, in true, hard-bitten, gruff Eastwood style. Instead, I ended up wondering if he was “sundowning” or something. It was very strange and hugely disappointing.

  5. I thought it was well rehearsed, well orchestrated and delivered. It was obviously a spoof designed to exploit sarcasm using a perception of innocent naivete. Excepting his (East woods) personal opinion disagreeing with both major parties intention to keep us involved in perpetual war… based on audience reaction – I don’t see how anyone can think he wasn’t completely successful. I suggest you watch Clint’s performance again.

  6. Sorry I can’t agree with you. The obvious parody on the movie “Harvey” seems to elude everyone. I can say that his delivery wasn’t the best but his message was right on. We have a president who has great speech making capabilities…now….think about that.

    • If it was a parody of “Harvey,” I can only assume I’d have found the movie tedious as well. I guess I was mistaken to expect a polished script, delivery, and production from an Oscar-winning Hollywood actor and producer. But I still love ol’ Clint.

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  1. The actor upstages the stuffed shirt « All Tied Up and Nowhere to Go

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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