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Eastwood And The Divide Between Americans And The Ruling Class

I’m in Colorado right now, which means I got to watch and experience the Republican convention with people who are not political or media professionals or otherwise D.C. insiders. Being here is almost like being in a different country.

When Clint Eastwood mocked President Obama last night, the Colorado folks were on the edge of their seat. They were cheering and clapping and laughing — laughing really hard. And on my Twitter feed, the political class was angry and immediately derided the spee…

  1. Del Mar Dave

    While a bit bemused, my wife and I thought Eastwood was hilarious!

    To the glitterati, I say, “Get over it!…and learn to let go.”

  2. Majestyk

    Mockery is Kryptonite to the left.  That’s why they’re up in arms.

  3. Mitch Noyes

    I thought the performance could have been really funny and really effective. Instead I felt I was watching a dramatically diminished man whose incredible vitality I’ve watched for decades as he tried to remember what he was supposed to be saying and doing. I did laugh at parts, and basically got what I was supposed to get from the act, but I just felt like it didn’t come off the way it was supposed to. It was like watching Frank Sinatra go up to sing in his late years when he looked like a badly made up corpse just talking his songs instead of singing. Pretty disappointing. 

  4. Hang On

    I really enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s speech as well. I can’t believe I watched from Eastwood on and didn’t turn the channel. I usually hate watching stuff like last night.

    What made Eastwood’s speech good was that he said what guys on the street have been saying about Obama for a couple of years now. What the bubble politico’s hated was they were hearing it for the first time. Obama is a buffoon and has been. But then so is the political class, so he’s perfect for them.

  5. Front Ranger

    ” … we have a bunch of Tracy Flick wannabes in our media and political elite.” True, and a fine comparison. Eastwood has done us a favor. It’s okay to admit that Obama is a bad president deserving of ridicule. Given his thin resume and boundless self-regard, the last four years should come as no surprise. The president not only isn’t wearing clothes. In terms of experience and leadership, he’s as glabrous as a Ken doll. 

  6. Brian Watt

    I loved it even as it was a bit awkward. And even the rude allusions from the invisible Obama about doing something to oneself. Everyone knows that Obama has a nasty temper and by inside reports harbors a great deal of personal animosity for Mitt Romney. Comedy is most effective when it’s true. Of course, to the MSM who revere Obama as The Second Coming this is sacrilege. I wonder if Eastwood’s friend and colleague, Morgan Freeman thinks that Clint is a racist now.

  7. Del Mar Dave

    All comments are spot on, but here is the money quote:

    Majestyk: Mockery is Kryptonite to the left.  That’s why they’re up in arms. · 7 minutes ago

    If we can laugh them out of office, maybe we can make some progress on shifting the tectonic plates in our direction.

  8. Cornelius Julius Sebastian

    I am a huge Eastwood fan.   It was not what I was expecting.  I was kind of hoping he’d do a really gritty speech in his Walt Kowalski mode.  I didn’t mind the comedic aspect of it, and it worked for the most part.  But his delivery came across a bit diddering at times.  It really made me aware of how old he is.  Still Clint Eastwood spoke at the RNC! Let the Beltway glitterati fulminate.  Clint’s iconic stature and persona gives him a legitimacy with America’s instinctive conservatism that pundits can only dream they might exert on public opinion.   

  9. Greg Cook

    I know several college students who campaigned for Romney in the south during the primaries. They didn’t like the speech either: “It was unstructured,” “He rambled,” “He was off-message,” “I didn’t understand the chair,” “I don’t get what demographic this plays to.”

    But people I know who are over sixty loved it because Eastwood didn’t seem too polished or political or partisan. He made fun of Obama in the way that most of us might mock a humorless and incompetent boss. Eastwood–like Romney, Ryan, and most of the prime-time speakers–has the two crucial elements that Obama lacks: a sense of humor and a record of success in his field.

    The Eastwood speech was mess as a piece of political rhetoric. As a piece of entertainment, it worked. Isn’t that the point of asking a Hollywood guy to speak instead of another politician?

  10. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    So I eavesdropped on this coffee house conversation about Eastwood. Guy #1 begins conversation by saying “Did you see Eastwood? He was awful, rambling, incoherent and just went on and on.”

    Dude 2: “Really? I thought it was really funny. The empty chair thing was mean, but I feel that way sometimes about Obama.”

    Dude 3: “I thought it was hit and miss, but what I really hated was how the moment it was over, the media said it was awful.” (Is it weird that I somehow agree with all three of them?)

    Dem woman who yesterday was railing on Ryan comes in and says lots of stuff, including, “I have always hated Eastwood.”

    The reaction among all the dudes was swift and severe. They all decided she had gone too far. And then Dude 1, the guy who started the anti-Eastwood convo, begins defending Eastwood and says, “the more I think about it, it was kind of funny.”

    I wish I could eavesdrop on coffeehouse conversations every day.

  11. Starve the Beast

    “…  I was watching a dramatically diminished man whose incredible vitality I’ve watched for decades as he tried to remember what he was supposed to be saying and doing.”

    He was affecting an unscripted, ad-libbing demeanor. You’re just seeing it that way because the guy’s getting up there, and people pausing and hemming like that when they’re in their 80s can sound addled.

    Seriously, go back and watch it again. You’re seeing something that isn’t there.

  12. Mitch Noyes
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: 

    I wish I could eavesdrop on coffeehouse conversations every day. 

    Wait, according to Rob that’s what Ricochet is. I mean $3.67 and all, right?

  13. mezzrow

    This, Mollie.  Thank you.

    The insiders have no self-awareness, and yes, they are all Tracy Flick in some way.  Somebody go find a bunch of seniors and ask them what they thought.  There’s your target audience.

    When you’re eighty something, and everyone in the audience loves you, you can go places Marco Rubio can’t dream of going.  Tracy is still trying to figure out what that was and why they let that addled old man on stage.

    That’s part of the ridicule for the system that got us to where we are now with our President Barack Obama.  ”Oprah was crying…” We did this to ourselves, you know.  Clint is playing 3-d chess, and Tracy is counting the kings she thinks she has lined up at the end of her checkerboard, clutching that 9+ Dem poll that says everything is going to be OK, or worrying about it, depending on which side she’s on.  (Tracy works on both sides of the aisle.)

    DC doesn’t get it, but America does.  Especially anyone who remembers the movie ‘Harvey’.  Darned few of us still around.  Clint remembers it, I’m sure.

  14. Ryan M
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.:

    I wish I could eavesdrop on coffeehouse conversations every day. · 0 minutes ago

    Be careful what you wish for!  Sometimes it’s hard to listen and not interject.  Actually, I’ve made a lot of friends with elderly people that way – (but not by arguing with liberals, of course).

    I didn’t see anything last night because of a fantasy football draft, so everything I get is from NR, Ricochet, and however much NPR I can stomach this afternoon.  I don’t feel under informed.  In fact, I tend to know quite a bit more – objectively – about politics than most people around me.  That’s one thing I’ve noticed since going cold turkey on the MSM (although I had a subscription to WSJ until I lost my student rate).  It feels liberating.

    There are so many people, and they’re almost all liberals, telling you what to think and how your actual observations and impressions are somehow wrong.  But the simple thing to do is tune them out.  The talking heads at CNN don’t mean much when they’re talking to one another; they only mean something if we let them.

  15. Leslie Watkins
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Dem woman who yesterday was railing on Ryan comes in and says lots of stuff, including, “I havealways hated Eastwood.”

    Indeed! And we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

  16. Mitch Noyes
    Starve the Beast:

    He was affecting an unscripted, ad-libbing demeanor. You’re just seeing it that way because the guy’s getting up there, and people pausing and hemming like that when they’re in their 80s can sound addled.

    Seriously, go back and watch it again. You’re seeing something that isn’t there.

    No, pretty sure I saw what I saw. That was not the Clint Eastwood I know up there last night. He wasn’t even the Clint Eastwood of Gran Torino. He’s diminished a lot in the last few years. Maybe the addled quality was part of the schtick, but I don’t think that made it effective, it just made it weird because you couldn’t tell if it was put on or real.

  17. HeartofAmerica
    Brian Watt: I loved it even as it was a bit awkward. And even the rude allusions from the invisible Obama about doing something to oneself. Everyone knows that Obama has a nasty temper and by inside reports harbors a great deal of personal animosity for Mitt Romney. Comedy is most effective when it’s true. Of course, to the MSM who revere Obama as The Second Coming this is sacrilege. I wonder if Eastwood’s friend and colleague, Morgan Freeman thinks that Clint is a racist now. · 16 minutes ago

    Wndered the same thing myself but surely they’ve had conversations about their individual viewpoints over the years. The difference here is that Clint went on TV and shared his, albeit through a mocking schtick against the President.

  18. Capt. Aubrey

    I had bloomberg radio on when I left the gym this morning and Al Hunt and Tom Keene were having a wonderful time dis-ing Eastwood. The clips they ran made him sound doddering and slow witted. The text of his speech could not be more spot on. If that is the worst they can come up with by way criticsm the convention has been a roaring success.

  19. Keith Rice
    Hang On:

     What the bubble politico’s hated was they were hearing it for the first time. Obama is a buffoon and has been. But then so is the political class, so he’s perfect for them.

    Not only is he a buffoon, he’s a crass buffoon. Eastwood’s theme about Obama telling people who don’t agree with him to “Go [e.d.] yourself” suggests this refined and noble creation of Leftist hubris and media narcissism is nothing more than a feckless boor.

  20. M. T. S.

    I don’t think he could have done that performance if the ‘mainstream’ comedians had been joking on President Obama the past several years. I think he filled a void. I also liked how it felt unscripted – and it was a nice change of pace from the ‘serious’ speeches. However, I agree with John Podhoretz  that it may have been awkwardly placed in between the tributes to Romney’s personal life and Romney’s speech.

    Overall I think it was a positive.

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