In the Line of Fire: The Clint Eastwood Train Wreck

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I will never forget the night I sat in a convention hall in Tampa and watched Mitt Romney accept the Republican nomination for president, because that was the night I saw Clint Eastwood say the immortal words: “Do you just—you know—I know—people were wondering—you don’t—handle that OK.”

Oh my. Romney’s speech sounded fine, and Marco Rubio seemed quite eloquent, but honestly, all I can think about is Dirty Harry scolding an invisible president in a chair for making an anatomically impossible suggestion. We had heard there would be a surprise guest tonight, but apparently, the surprise was a surprise to the surprise guest. You know how reporters always complain that conventions are too scripted? Eastwood was the first thing on network TV tonight, and oh, it wasn’t scripted. It wasn’t rehearsed. It wasn’t sane.

(MORE: What You Missed While Not Watching the Last Night of the Republican Convention)

Wow. This was not the bad-ass Clint from Unforgiven. This wasn’t even the get-the-hell-off-my-lawn Clint from Gran Torino. This was a rambling old dude with no teleprompter, wandering off message, rambling to an empty chair, ignoring the blinking red light telling him to get the hell off the stage. “And I thought, yeah, I am not going to shut up,” he muttered at one point. “It’s my turn.”

It sure was. Thursday had been the best day of the Republican convention, featuring the first speakers who actually talked with emotion about specific things that Romney had done.  An elderly couple told a wrenching story about Romney comforting their dying son, and helping him write his last will and testament. But when prime time rolled around, Eastwood took the convention to goofyville. Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican Party!

This was Clint’s half-hearted case for Romney: “This administration hasn’t done enough to cure that. I think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.” Possibly? He then chided the invisible Obama for proposing to close Guantanamo, before remembering that Obama didn’t close Guantanamo. Then he brought up the plan to try a terrorist in New York City. “I have to give credit where it’s due,” Eastwood told the empty chair. “You did overrule that.” He noted that Obama had opposed the war in Iraq, “and that’s OK,” then complained that the president had announced a withdrawal date for Afghanistan (an actual Republican talking point) instead of bringing the troops home immediately (not an actual Republican talking point).

(PHOTOS: Highlights from the Convention)

There was one semi-disturbing moment, when Clint screamed “We own this country!” He got a standing ovation for that one, and it’s possible that the virtually all-white crowd was picking up a bit of Gran Torino you-know-what-I-mean-by-we. But I would chalk it up to incoherence rather than malice, because that was definitely the theme of his soliloquy. “I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president anyway,” Eastwood groused. “I think attorneys are so busy. You know, they’re always taught to argue everything, always weigh everything, weigh both sides. They’re always devil’s advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that. You know all that stuff.” If you say so, Pink Cadillac guy. By the way, Romney has a law degree from Harvard.

All right, you get the point. But I can’t stop! “I think if you just step aside and Mr. Romney can kind of take over,” Clint told Invisible Obama. “You can maybe still use a plane. Though maybe a smaller one. Not that big gas guzzler you are going around to colleges and talking about college loans and stuff like that.”

(VIDEO: RNC Buzzwords: A Political Word Game)

All I can say is, it was horrible, and it was awesome, and it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention. And it was on prime time. If I were a Bain consultant like Romney—“a quote-unquote stellar businessman,” as Eastwood put it—I think I’d consider this a major management failure.

PHOTOS: The RNC in Pictures: The Delegates

525 comments
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Jim
Jim

Too bad the author of this biased article missed Clint's best quote: "....And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go. Clint Eastwood 8-30-2012

Clint remains relevant as ever. The author above is just too irrelevant.

Betty
Betty

Not having watched one minute of the GOP convention, all I can say is I'm glad I had better things to do.  What a bunch of losers!

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

I want to be one with GOP,

Wow!!!!

So many great personalities and organizations !!!

The Donald !!

The Clint !!

The Gingrich!!

The  Fox !!

The Quayle !!

and finally the clowning glory:

The Richie_Rich_Romney !!!!!

GOP!!! GOP!!! GOP!!!!

ahandout
ahandout

 It's time for your medication.

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

Bye,bye loser !!!

Uff that must have hurt !! :)

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

   

Thanks, Clint "“Do you just—you know—I know—people were wondering—you

don’t—handle that OK" Eastwood! 

You and Romney have given the White

House to Obama for 4 more years!!!!  Phonydrearljr1/georgiamd is having cramps!!!

Real Academy Award-worthy performance!!!  Must have been your opening

scene for your new movie,  OLD AND

MINDLESS !!!  How do you spell “senile”?

 

GOBAMA 2012!!!

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

   

Thanks, Clint "“Do you just—you know—I know—people were wondering—you

don’t—handle that OK" Eastwood! 

You and Romney have given the White

House to Obama for 4 more years!!!!  Phonydrearljr1/georgiamd is having cramps!!!

Real Academy Award-worthy performance!!!  Must have been your opening

scene for your new movie,  OLD AND

MINDLESS !!!  How do you spell “senile”?

 

GOBAMA 2012!!!

beaverorduck
beaverorduck

My the Democrats are thinned skin on this one.  Lighten up.

politathiest
politathiest

It's like accusing a Republican if of being for pro choice policies

politathiest
politathiest

Of course there is the fact that since Reagan if there has been a minimum of 5 and as many s 7 conservative appointees to the Supreme Court , and yet they. haven't been able to overturn Roe , maybe they really are in secret ,pro choice.

Skipdallas
Skipdallas

SCOTUS can not unilaterally overturn a law! It just does not work that way. They have to rule on a specific case brought before the Court. And that case has to go through years of litigation in lower courts before even reaching SCOTUS. Then the case would have to be about Roe vs Wade.

beaverorduck
beaverorduck

Ok - that makes no sense, but whatever

politathiest
politathiest

I realize my speech translator isn't always very accurate but if you can't figure that out then I question your ability if I made it clearer. here , GOP has never that serious about overturning Roe vs. Wade. do you need an explanation of that ticular court case and its implications ?

politathiest
politathiest

AAHANDOUT, are you completely daft? the group that is clamoring the most or open free trade are the multinational coglomerates. those initial free trade bills were passed with the majorityof Republican pushing for free trade . they were just blaming Obama for not finishing up the free trade agreement pushed put together . By Bush we all know who's the party of big business in that is the GOP . yes some dems supported the initial free trade agreement but there are more now that are suspicious and against them. I cant for the life of me figure out how you can see the Democrats as more responsible for the overseas shipment of jobs than the GOP . what world do you live in and what brainwashing have you gone through . in case you think I'm joshing , following is the GOP presidential platform on free trade .

Restore presidential Trade Promotion Authority

International trade is crucial for our economy. It means more American jobs, higher wages, amp; a better standard of living. The Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly democracies facilitated the creation of nearly ten million jobs supported by our exports. That record makes all the more deplorable the current Administration's slowness in completing agreements begun by its predecessor and its failure to pursue any new trade agreements with friendly nations.

We call for the restoration of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. It will ensure up or down votes in Congress on any new trade agreements, without meddling by special interests. A Republican President will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open rapidly developing Asian markets to US products. Beyond that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets, what has been called a "Reagan Economic Zone," in which free trade will truly be fair trade.

ahandout
ahandout

 Open markets.  So, tell me WHY our government cannot negotiate a treaty that really created open markets?  Dem or Rep. 

And you want to trust them with more power.  Sure let the government run healthcare.  What could go wrong?  Bush or Clinton we were getting NAFTA.  I VOTED FOR PEROT.

ahandout
ahandout

Just another reminder; actually I am rubbing it in.

President-elect Barack Obama's first major appointment received mixed reaction from Democrats and Republicans.Rep. Rahm Emanuel on Thursday accepted Obama's offer to be White House chief of staff.

http://articles.cnn.com/2008-1...

ahandout
ahandout

I have heard many liberals here say that they don't like Rahm.  Who was Barry's VERY FIRST pick for his cabinet?  Rahm Emanuel.  Very first.  

You would think that you would get a clue. 

ahandout
ahandout

Obama and the Dems have been all about global wealth redistribution.  You liberals elect people that send our jobs and wealth overseas and then you complain about killing out the middle class.  You really are stupid.

http://www.americanthinker.com...

politathiest
politathiest

Handout, the wealth distribution is already over . the rich won they have it all now

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

So what's Romney got in mind to reverse that trend? Don't worry I'll wait for you to look it up........

ahandout
ahandout

 Answer: NOBAMA.

politathiest
politathiest

GOp e quals the party of big business . big international business . and hand out still think that's it democrat Faults . this guy makes Paulebj look like a freakin genius

ahandout
ahandout

 No, we the people will reverse the trend, moron.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

IOW, your supporting a Candidate who will make the outsourcing problem worse, and you don't actually care because that would involve actual thought.

MrObvious
MrObvious

PD

Romney is going to remove taxes on any money earned overseas. That'll motivate a business to make sure they set up shop in the lowest taxed country.

ahandout
ahandout

 You know what...taxes.  You really need to think past fing taxes, if that is possible.

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

I know that. You know that. I'm interested in seeing if ahandout realizes that. After all, I've been saying all along that buying manufacturing labor from the lowest bidder is at the root of our troubles and that both parties are complicit.

politathiest
politathiest

he have said if necessary he would have a trade war with China but we all know that like they did with the immigration reform debate win the GOP held all houses , big business conservatives will come in and shut that down in a second .oops there's that quiet power of the oligarcy showing its dominance

ahandout
ahandout

 Your government's idea of "fair" trade.

Trade balances

The US goods

trade deficit with NAFTA was 94.6 billion in 2010, a 36.4% increase (25

billion) over 2009.

The US goods

trade deficit with NAFTA accounted for 26.8% of the overall U.S.

goods trade deficit in 2010.

The US had a

services trade surplus of 28.3 billion with NAFTA countries in 2009 (the latest

data available).

But, of course the government will be "fair" with health care and everything else.  They have such a great track record.

ahandout
ahandout

 Trade balances

The US goods trade deficit with NAFTA was $94.6 billion in 2010, a 36.4% increase ($25 billion) over 2009.

The US goods trade deficit with NAFTA accounted for 26.8% of the overall U.S. goods trade deficit in 2010.

The US had a services trade surplus of $28.3 billion with NAFTA countries in 2009 (the latest data available).

ahandout
ahandout

Your government's idea of "fair" trade:

 

Trade balances

The US goods trade deficit with NAFTA was $94.6 billion in 2010, a 36.4% increase ($25 billion) over 2009.

The US goods trade deficit with NAFTA accounted for 26.8% of the overall U.S. goods trade deficit in 2010.

The US had a services trade surplus of $28.3 billion with NAFTA countries in 2009 (the latest data available).

ahandout
ahandout

This is simply "redistributing the wealth" ala Barry Obama and your government.  Your government, always looking out for you with agreements like NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and "fair trade."

 

Ross Perot:

"Why won't everybody go South?" They

say, "It'd be disruptive." I said, "For how long?" I finally got them up

from 12 to 15 years. And I said, "well, how does it stop being

disruptive?"  And that is when their jobs come up from a dollar an hour

to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and

then it's leveled again. But in the meantime, you've wrecked the country

with these kinds of deals.

ahandout
ahandout

Ross Perot was absolutely right.  And, of course the media called him crazy.  

PEROT: That's right at the top of my agenda. We've shipped millions

of jobs overseas and we have a strange situation because we have a

process in Washington where after you've served for a while you cash in

and become a foreign lobbyist, make $30,000 a month; then take a leave,

work on Presidential campaigns, make sure you got good contacts, and

then go back out. Now if you just want to get down to brass tacks, the

first thing you ought to do is get all these folks who've got these

one-way trade agreements that we've negotiated over the years and say,

"Fellows, we'll take the same deal we gave you." And they'll gridlock

right at that point because, for example, we've got international

competitors who simply could not unload their cars off the ships if they

had to comply -- you see, if it was a two-way street -- just couldn't

do it. We have got to stop sending jobs overseas.

To those of you

in the audience who are business people, pretty simple: If you're paying

$12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory

South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor, hire young --

let's assume you've been in business for a long time and you've got a

mature work force -- pay a dollar an hour for your labor, have no health

care -- that's the most expensive single element in making a car --

have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement,

and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a

giant sucking sound going south.

So we -- if the people send me to

Washington the first thing I'll do is study that 2,000-page agreement

and make sure it's a two-way street. One last part here -- I decided i

was dumb and didn't understand it so I called the Who's Who of the folks

who've been around it and I said, "Why won't everybody go South?" They

say, "It'd be disruptive." I said, "For how long?" I finally got them up

from 12 to 15 years. And I said, "well, how does it stop being

disruptive?" And that is when their jobs come up from a dollar an hour

to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and

then it's leveled again. But in the meantime, you've wrecked the country

with these kinds of deals. We've got to cut it out.

Betty
Betty

 In case you haven't noticed, we live in a global economy.  This is 2012, not 1950.

politathiest
politathiest

Paulebj has been spoutting about an article about how new jobs are lower wages trying to imply this is Obama's fault . here's part of that article he conveniently left out .

Since 2001, employment has grown 8.7 percent in lower-wage occupations and 6.6 percent in high-wage ones. Over that period, midwage occupation employment has fallen by 7.3 percent.

first thing you should know this is it says "since 2001" . that means it was since bush took office . second thing to know it is that the higher wage jobs have increased as well as the bottom wage jobs . this explains perfectly the income disparity and why middle class wages have been stagnant FOR TWO DECADES! . what we've lost is the middle class . what paulebj has inadvertently done is prove MY POINT THAT I'VE POSTED MANY TIMES! the top percentages are having their wages increase while the poor are loosing wages and this income disparity is wiping out the middle class . please everyone here feel free to spread this around the block and with a heartfelt thanks to Paulebj for helping make our case for us .

ahandout
ahandout

 Who outsourced those jobs?  Remember NAFTA?  Bill Clinton and Rahm passed NAFTA.  Another great idea brought to you by your precious government.  Thank you Big Brother.

MrObvious
MrObvious

ahandout, Bill Clinton signed the trade agreement into law but he wasn't the one who negotiated it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed it.

Anyways

ahandout
ahandout

 Oh, he sure was.  Rahm Emanuel was the key to NAFTA.  If Billy didn't like it, he could have vetoed it.  So, stop your BS.

politathiest
politathiest

you are beyond stupid it is on always have been the GOP and their big business studies that have pushed for free trade . the GOP blame Obama for not pushing through agreements made by Bush .and if you bother to pay attention you know that there are more them dems are suspicious of free trade and have refused to get on board unless there were protections put in place to protect our union workers . you're really doing your GOP bloggers hear a disservice by showing how uninformed do you are . I posted the GOP presidential platform on free trade above . read that and tell me it's the dems n fault you moron

ahandout
ahandout

 Just think redistribution of wealth, idiot.

politathiest
politathiest

here's a real hard Bit of FACTS for are you Republican to swallow

On the Republican convention stage tonight, you’re going to see a really large clock. But the clock isn’t for keeping time. The idea isn’t to stop speakers from going over their allotted time, or the convention from running late. It’s a debt clock. And the idea is to blame President Obama and the Democrats for the national debt.

But in doing so, the Republicans will end up blaming Obama for the policies they pushed in the Bush years, and the recession that began on a Republican president’s watch, and a continuation of tax cuts that they supported. They’ll have to. Because if they took all that off the debt clock, there wouldn’t be much debt there to blame him for at all.

The single thing you should look at to understand the debt clock and what it is — or isn’t — telling you is this graph from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It does something very simple. It takes public debt since 2001 — which is when we last saw surpluses — and breaks it into its component parts.

You can see it kind of looks like a layer cake. In fact, the folks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities call it “the parfait graph.”

The top layer, the orange one, that’s the Bush tax cuts. There is no single policy we have passed that has added as much to the debt, or that is projected to add as much to the debt in the future, as the Bush tax cuts, which Republicans passed in 2001 and 2003 and Obama and the Republicans extended in 2010. To my knowledge, all elected Republicans want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. Democrats, by and large, want to end them for income over $250,000.

In second place is the economic crisis. That’s the medium blue. Recessions drive tax revenue down because people lose their jobs, and when you lose your job, you lose your income, and when you lose your income, you can’t pay taxes. Tax revenues in recent years have been 15.4 percent of GDP — the lowest level since the 1950s. Meanwhile, they drive social spending up, because programs like unemployment insurance and Medicaid automatically begin spending more to help the people who have been laid off.

Then comes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s the red. And then recovery measures like the stimulus. That’s the light blue, and the part for which you can really blame Obama and the Democrats– though it’s worth remembering that the stimulus had to happen because of a recession that began before Obama entered office, and that the Senate Republicans proposed and voted for a $3 trillion tax cut stimulus that would have added almost four times what Obama’s stimulus added to the debt.

Then there’s the financial rescue measures like TARP, which is the dark blue line. That’s almost nothing, as much of that money has been paid back.

If we didn’t have all that? If there’d been no Bush tax cuts, no wars, no financial crisis and everything else had been the same? Debt would be between 20 and 30 percent of GDP today, rather than almost 100 percent.

Now, the response you sometimes get to this graph is yes, that’s true, but Obama should have done more about the debt. But Obama has proposed a multi-trillion dollar deficit reduction plan. Republicans just refused to pass it. And, to be fair, he refused to sign their plan, too. So the question then is less about what led to the debt and more about who has the right plan to get rid of it. I’ll get into that in a subsequent post.

paulejb
paulejb

poliathiest,

"I don't know why you would oppose health care reform because it would get you the Prozac you so desperately need."

================================

Unlike liberals, I do not rely on government handouts to provide for my needs,  poli.

Dumbledor
Dumbledor

 The man is 84 yo .  He got his thoughts across to the audience and those of us who were of like mind (I guess you weren't) so the meaning was lost on you. Too bad. For those of us who understood, he's cool! If you didn't understand, cow can you criticize?

sacredh
sacredh

Aug. 31: TV Ratings May Be Leading Indicator of Convention Bounce

By NATE SILVER

It remains too early to tell exactly what effect the Republican National Convention has had on the polls. But television ratings are one measure that come in almost instantaneously. Ratings for the final two nights of the Republican convention were down quite a bit from 2008, declining by about 30 percent overall.

.

I took this from the FiveThirtyEight website just a couple of minutes ago.

paulejb
paulejb

"The Brilliance of Clint’s Empty Chair"

"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." 

http://oceanstatecurrent.com/o...