Last night, the Republicans promised a surprise to help close their convention in Tampa, Florida. That surprise was the Invisible Barack Obama. Or, rather, an empty chair, which Clint Eastwood lectured for 10 minutes in a speech right before Mitt Romney came out to accept the Republican nomination for President. The speech was funny, biting, a bit rambling at times, and according to the Romney campaign, completely ad-libbed. That’s right, Clint Eastwood got to ad-lib a speech at the most tightly-controlled media event in America (at least until the Democratic National Convention starts).
“I was even crying. And … I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country,” said Eastwood during his speech, mocking celebrities like Oprah who cried during Obama’s electoral victory in 2008. ”Now that is something to cry for because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace, and we haven’t done enough, obviously – this administration hasn’t done enough to cure that.”
If that is an ad-libbed speech, it makes a lot of sense as to A) why he gets a little rambling sometimes and B) why Clint gets in those subtle digs at Republicans, as well as Democrats. After all, Clint is nothing if not a conundrum: a fiscally-conservative social liberal who is pro-environment, pro-gay marriage, anti-intervention, and a former Obama supporter turned Romney backer who changed political sides from year to year, depending on his own personal moods. For the moment, he’s a conservative icon and a liberal punching bag; a reversal from his position last year after the “Halftime in America” GM commercial made him an Obama shill and forward-thinking American.
Clint Eastwood is the honey badger of politics: he just doesn’t care.
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