3 thoughts on “Clint Eastwood Speech

  1. arizona today

    RUSH LIMBAUGH: Clint Got Under Obama’s Skin

    August 31, 2012

    RUSH: Yeah, I loved Eastwood. I even thought that was bold and good. I’ll tell you what, folks. Let me just give you a little hint on how to translate the left today.

    The left — and this is predictable. They’re destroying Eastwood, and Hollywood types are destroying Eastwood. “Oh, Clint! What’s happened to poor old Clint? Oh, he looks like he’s got Alzheimer’s. Oh, no. Did you see how old Clint was? He didn’t even know where he was.” They were dumping all over Eastwood, and you know why? Because they can’t hit Romney, and they’ve gotta hit something. But Romney’s speech doesn’t have a whole lot hittable in it. Oh, they were sending out their e-mails last night.

    We’re on their mailing lists. Every five or ten minutes, they were sending out e-mails asking for three bucks. The various Democratic fundraising organizations were asking for three bucks. “That Paul Ryan, he lied through his teeth and now Romney? He’s lying through his teeth!” But that stuff is pro forma. The target that Eastwood’s become…? By the way, let me tell you something. Eastwood succeeded in getting under Obama’s skin.

    At 12:30 last night, somebody on behalf of Obama (and for all I know it was Obama himself) tweeted a picture of Obama in an official presidential chair. Looks like it’s in the Cabinet Room. It might be in the Oval, but, regardless, it’s the official presidential chair, and it’s got a little miniature plaque on the back of the chair that says, “President US 2009.” And the tweet is, “This seat is taken.” Now, we’ve talked about this. So here they needle Obama. He’s so transparent!

    We can depict this guy as an empty chair. And it must have gotten to him because he tweeted at 12:30 or somebody did in his name — that, “Nope, sorry. This seat’s taken,” rather than ignore it. See? See, here’s somebody who chose the philosophy of responding, of replying, of fighting back, and now a lot of people are saying, “A-ha, it worked! It got under Obama’s skin,” and it did.

    You know, I wondered what the heck was going on. I didn’t get it for a while because my hearing is such that I had to wait for closed-captioning to catch up with what Eastwood was saying at the beginning, and whoever was doing the transcribing didn’t know what he was saying because it was ad-lib. They didn’t have it on the prompter so they couldn’t have preloaded it for the captioners so I’m starting to get nervous. I saw that empty chair, and I thought, “What is that doing there?”

    It took me awhile to figure out that Eastwood was looking at the empty chair. It was Obama there. He’s having this imaginary conversation. Then, I realized what was going on. This is a great bit, and Eastwood was the essence of simplicity. How, if somebody’s not doing a job, you let ’em go. Just simple as it could be. Real world simple. Plus, it was hilarious. It was funny. Of course, we are people who like laughing at Obama. The other side doesn’t.

    RUSH: Clint Eastwood and the empty chair. Improv. This, I loved. I thought this was the essence, as I say, of simplicity. I thought Eastwood was funny. I thought he was great. Brevity is the soul of wit, and Eastwood demonstrated that last night. Let’s go to the audio sound bites and hear him making fun of Oprah on national TV. Who does that? Well, outside of us, of course, but who? Nobody does that. But we all do.

    EASTWOOD: I was watching that night when he was having that thing, and they were talking about “hope and change,” and they were talking about, “Yes, we can.” And it was dark and it was outdoors and it was nice and people were lighting candles and they were saying… I just thought, “This is great.” I mean, everybody’s crying. Oprah was crying, and —

    CONVENTION: (laughter)

    EASTWOOD: I was even crying! And finally — I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 million unemployed people in this country.

    CONVENTION: (laughter)

    EASTWOOD: 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.

    RUSH: Now, I don’t know about you. I love words. Words mean things. Even words that sound like throwaway words. When Eastwood said, “I was watching that night when he was having that thing,” people said, “He’s senile! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He couldn’t even remember what that was.” No, no, no! “Having that thing” is perfect. Yeah, “they were having that thing.” This is the perfect way to diminish it.

    He was talking about Obama and Grant Park after the election. All these people, the zombies, are lighting candles. They don’t even know why they’re there. They just feel good. But if you ask ’em why, you’d get spaced-out, Oprah-type answers. And then to throw in Oprah was crying? I mean, I’m sorry, that hits me right in the heart because I have a theory that Oprah’s success is directly related to how much she cries, and I’ve told you this over and over again.

    So that one, when I heard it, just made my day. You talk about emotional connections? Clint and I were on the same Zen-like astral plane with that one. “Yeah, I was watching that night and they were having that thing.” (laughing) That just cracked me up. That’s the kind of thing I wish I had said, and to most people it’s a throwaway or some senile old guy who can’t remember what he’s talking about. And he also ripped, appropriately so, Vice President Joe Biden.

    EASTWOOD: (asking the empty Obama chair) What do you want me to tell Romney? (pause) I can’t tell him to do that. He can’t do that to himself.

    CONVENTION: (laughter)

    EASTWOOD: You’re… You’re absolutely crazy.

    CONVENTION: (whistles and laughter)

    EASTWOOD: You’re getting as bad as Biden.

    CONVENTION: (wild laughter and applause)

    EASTWOOD: Of course, we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democrat Party, so…

    CONVENTION: (roaring laughter)

    EASTWOOD: He’s kind of a grin with a body behind it.

    CONVENTION: (roars continue)

    RUSH: I tell you, folks, when I saw that empty chair, at first I didn’t know what was going on because of my hearing. As I said, I had to wait for closed-captioning to catch up, so I was lagging behind ’til I figured out what was going on. But when they panned the crowd after Eastwood said, “I can’t tell him to do that. He can’t do that to himself. You’re crazy. You’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden.” They panned the crowd.

    We didn’t hear anything, but I know what I saw. I saw a bunch of people explaining what he was talking about to other people. I saw a guy laughing, telling a woman who had a look of total confusion on her face what Clint had just said. And vice-versa. But there were some people who didn’t quite get it. I got it right off the bat, and most people did, but it was funny to see it being translated out there. The camera stuck on some people long enough that after they had had it translated, you saw their mouths fall open.

    “Really? (Gasp!) Is that what that means?”

    Where else are you gonna get this stuff? This is real. Critics are talking about such lack of dignity, so beneath the image that the Republicans want to put forward. No, this was real. Everything about this convention this week was real. Eastwood, he did ramble some. I mean, it was ad-lib. There wasn’t a prompter up there. Well, actually, if you look at a still shot or two, you’ll see a prompter for the empty chair. Yes. You will see a prompter for the empty chair. If you look, if you see a picture or a still shot (even a live shot at the right angle). But he did ramble.

    But then he eventually got to another point…

    EASTWOOD: We own this country.

    CONVENTION: (cheers and applause)

    EASTWOOD: We own it. And it’s not you owning it and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours, and

    CONVENTION: (cheers and applause)

    EASTWOOD: So they’re just gonna come around and beg for votes every few years. It’s the same old deal. But I just think that it’s important that you realize that you’re the best in the world, whether you’re Democrat or whether you’re a Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever. You’re the best, and we should not ever forget that, and when somebody does not do the job, we gotta let ’em go.

    CONVENTION: (cheers and applause)

    RUSH: What could be more sensible? What could be simpler? The fact-checkers, by the way — some of the lib fact-checkers — are actually testing to see if you can do that to yourself, to see if Eastwood was lying. Some of these lib fact-checkers are actually trying it. They’re desperately trying to catch Eastwood in a lie. No, here’s another of what a lot of people would consider a throwaway line. He says, “Politicians are employees of ours.”

    Everybody’s laughing, and everybody’s chuckling and applauding. And then he says, “So they’re just gonna come around, beg for votes every few years. It’s the same old deal.” Amen! That’s exactly how a lot of people look at politicians: “They’re gonna come around and beg for votes. Same old deal.” But you’re the best. You’re the people who make the country work. And when somebody doesn’t do a good job, we gotta let ’em go.

    It’s just that simple.

  2. arizona today

    Eastwood says his convention appearance was ‘mission accomplished’

    Carmel, Calif., Pine Cone
    Sept. 7, 2012

    AFTER A week as topic No. 1 in American politics, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood said the outpouring of criticism from left-wing reporters and liberal politicians after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last Thursday night, followed by an avalanche of support on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is all the proof anybody needs that his 12-minute discourse achieved exactly what he intended it to.

    “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.”

    Breaking his silence

    For five days after he thrilled or horrified the nation by talking to an empty chair representing Obama on the night Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president, Eastwood remained silent while pundits and critics debated whether his remarks, and the rambling way he made them, had helped or hurt Romney’s chances of winning in November.

    But in a wide-ranging interview with The Pine Cone Tuesday from his home in Pebble Beach, he said he had conveyed the messages he wanted to convey, and that the spontaneous nature of his presentation was intentional, too.

    “I had three points I wanted to make,” Eastwood said. “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.”

    Eastwood’s appearance at the convention came after a personal request from Romney in August, soon after Eastwood endorsed the former Massachusetts governor at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho. But it was finalized only in the last week before the convention, along with an agreement to build suspense by keeping it secret until the last moment.

    Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign aides asked for details about what Eastwood would say to the convention.

    “They vett most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Eastwood recalled.

    And while the Hollywood superstar has plenty of experience being adored by crowds, he said he hasn’t given a lot of speeches and admitted that, “I really don’t know how to.” He also hates using a teleprompter, so it was settled in his mind that when he spoke to the 10,000 people in the convention hall, and the millions more watching on television, he would do it extemporaneously.

    “It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”

    Eastwood is a liberal on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, but he has strongly conservative opinions about the colossal national debt that has accumulated while Obama has been president, his failure to get unemployment below 6 percent, and a host of other economic issues.

    “Even people on the liberal side are starting to worry about going off a fiscal cliff,” Eastwood said.

    Last minute decisions

    But what — exactly — would he say to the Republican delegates about the $16 trillion national debt and 8.3 percent unemployment rate?

    Friends and associates weren’t as much help as he had hoped.

    “Everybody had advice for me, except the janitor,” Eastwood said.

    Early Thursday morning, when Eastwood left San Jose Airport on a private jet headed for Florida, he was still making up his mind. And even with his appearance just a few hours away, all Eastwood could tell Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, and his aides, was “to reassure them that everything I would say would be nice about Mitt Romney.”

    It was only after a quick nap in his hotel room a few blocks from the convention site, Eastwood said, that he mapped out his remarks — starting with his observation about politics in Hollywood, then challenging the president about the failure of his economic policies, and wrapping up by telling the public “they don’t have to worship politicians, like they were royalty or something.”

    But even then, with just an hour before he appeared on stage, it still hadn’t occurred to Eastwood to use an empty chair as a stand-in for the president.

    “I got to the convention site just 15 or 20 minutes before I was scheduled to go on,” he said. “That was fine, because everything was very well organized.”

    After a quick trip through airport-style security, he was taken to a Green Room, where Archbishop Dolan of New York sought him out to say hello. Then he was taken backstage to wait for his cue. And that was when inspiration struck.

    “There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood said. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”

    He asked a stagehand to take it out to the lectern while he was being announced.

    “The guy said, ‘You mean you want it at the podium?’ and I said, ‘No, just put it right there next to it.’”

    Then, with the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as a musical introduction, and a huge picture of him as Josey Wales as the backdrop, Eastwood walked out to tremendous applause.

    “The audience was super enthusiastic, and it’s always great when they’re with you instead of against you,” he said.

    ‘Enjoying themselves’

    Speaking without any notes, Eastwood recalled the good feelings the whole nation had when Obama was elected, but said they had been dashed as the economy stayed in the doldrums despite massive stimulus spending. He decried the “stupid idea” of closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and putting terrorists on trial in New York City, joked about Vice President Joe Biden’s intellect and quizzed empty-chair Obama about what he says to people about his failed economic policies. He pretended Obama told Romney to do something “physically impossible” to himself, said it’s time to elect a “stellar businessman” as president instead of a lawyer, and, as a final point, told the people, “You own this country.”

    When an elected official doesn’t “do the job, we’ve got to let ‘em go,” he said, and the crowd ate it up.

    “They really seemed to be enjoying themselves,” Eastwood said.

    Originally, he was told he could speak for six or seven minutes, and right before he went on, he was asked to keep it to five, but he said, “When people are applauding so much, it takes you 10 minutes to say five minutes’ worth.”

    Also, there were no signals or cues of any kind, so “when you’re out there, it’s kind of hard to tell how much time is going by.”

    He also said he was aware he hesitated and stumbled a bit, but said “that’s what happens when you don’t have a written-out speech.”

    As he wrapped up his remarks, he was aware his presentation was “very unorthodox,” but that was his intent from the beginning, even if some people weren’t on board.

    “They’ve got this crazy actor who’s 82 years old up there in a suit,” he said. “I was a mayor, and they’re probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks.”

    Backstage, it was all congratulations and glad-handing, he said. And then he returned to the Green Room, where he listened to speeches by Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. It wasn’t possible for him to watch the media coverage of his presentation.

    But the country was listening as the television reporters and commentators covering his speech reacted to it. And they hated it.

    “I have to say, as a fan, a movie fan, this was exceedingly strange. It just seemed like a very strange, unscripted moment,” said a shocked Andrea Mitchell on NBC.

    “That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life,” said Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, barely concealing the condescension in her voice.

    Bob Schieffer of CBS said it was “a big mistake to put Clint Eastwood on before Mitt Romney.”
    On the Washington Post website, reporter Chris Cillizza wrote that “‘awkward’ may be the kindest term we can think of” to describe Eastwood’s speech.

    “He hemmed. He hawed. He mumbled. He rambled,” Cillizza wrote.

    And on CNN, Piers Morgan said Eastwood was “going bonkers” on the stage and said his presentation “looked like complete chaos.” He pressured his guests with questions like, “Weren’t you in pain while he was up there?”

    But Eastwood wasn’t aware of any of it, and after the speeches were over, Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, came backstage to thank him.

    “They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing,” Eastwood said.

    When he went outside to his car, a large crowd cheered and chanted lines from his speech.

    An overnight rebellion

    Back at his hotel, Eastwood had a room service dinner and went to bed. The next morning, he got up early and went straight to the airport, still unaware that his appearance was the No. 1 political topic in the nation.

    “I read the Tampa newspaper, and every article said something negative about the convention, but there wasn’t much about me,” Eastwood said.

    He had no idea that overnight, a rebellion had erupted online against the media’s condemnation of him, with thousands of bloggers, Twitterers and commentators calling him, “a genius,” “1,000 times more brilliant than the media,” and saying he’s “only gotten better with age.”

    They also started posting their own versions of Eastwood’s empty chair in droves (“eastwooding”), and, on YouTube, replays of his remarks at the convention were being viewed millions of times.

    Even into his 80s, Eastwood has an unprecedented record of success in Hollywood, and is still making two movies a year. He’s currently starring in “Trouble with the Curve,” and is about to direct a remake of “A Star is Born” — things he obviously couldn’t do if he were a befuddled senior citizen. To locals who know him, the idea that he is uninformed or senile is laughable.

    Nevertheless, the bitter criticism has continued.

    On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, called Eastwood “the perfect icon of the Republican tea party: an angry old white man spewing incoherent nonsense.”

    Eastwood said people, including reporters, who were shocked by his remarks “are obviously on the left,” and he maintained that, while many Americans didn’t like the way he handled his convention appearance, millions more have something else on their minds.

    “A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama,” Eastwood said.

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