2012 Republican National Convention

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How Clint Eastwood Went from Legalizing Ice Cream to the RNC Stage

Clint Eastwood, 2011

Clint Eastwood in 2011. Photo by gdcgraphics/Flickr

Take a moment and Google “Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood.” A handful of links down, you’ll find this 2009 query:

“Is Clint Eastwood still the mayor of Carmel, California?”

The answer is no, not for more than 20 years. But for politicos and news outlets, it might as well have been yesterday.

Eastwood’s bona fides as the Republican-leaning mayor of Carmel, a small well-to-do town south of Monterey popular with tourists, are all over news coverage of the former actor’s speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention (a performance being widely described this morning as bizarre, by the way). A search for “Carmel mayor” in Google News this morning returned 967 mentions of the address, with his term as mayor characterized as his ticket to the RNC stage.

For the record, Eastwood served one term as Carmel mayor, from 1986-1988. Articles and coverage of his term as mayor refer to him as non-partisan and Republican-leaning, although many posts about the RNC speech describe him as a Republican mayor. (ABC News reported last year that President George H.W. Bush considered Eastwood as a possible V.P.). Here’s how the BBC described Eastwood’s election:

He polled 2,166 against the 799 votes cast for current mayor Charlotte Townsend, a former librarian.

Two of Clint Eastwood’s supporters were also elected on to Carmel’s local council, giving him control of the five-member body.

Mr Eastwood, a resident of Carmel for 14 years, decided to run for mayor after a series of clashes with the council.

After being refused planning permission to renovate his restaurant, the movie star took legal action and had the decision overturned.

His campaign centred on relaxing the strict controls on business in the town of 4,000 residents.

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California GOP Delegates Dig Paul Ryan

GOP candidate for Congress Ricky Gill, from Calif's 9th district, speaks at convention. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

KQED’s Rachael Myrow spoke with KPCC’s Frank Stoltze, who’s in Tampa covering the 2012 Republican National Convention. Stoltze got a read on some California delegates and their hopes for the California Republican Party.

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Edited transcript…

KQED’S RACHAEL MYROW: Republicans from California, the ones who haven’t been trapped in Sacramento voting on bills this week, have been having a grand ol’ time in Tampa Bay at the GOP convention. The Golden State may not be in play this presidential election, but our Republicans still manage to attract a lot of attention and generate a lot of discussion. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze is there. Can you set the scene for us?

KPCC’s FRANK STOLTZE: The convention itself is in the city of Tampa. The California delegation is staying in St. Pete Beach, across Tampa Bay. It’s a beautiful resort area – big wide, white beaches. In fact, I caught up with one of the delegates on the beach – Gina Gleason from Chino Hills.

STOLTZE: It’s nice out here.

CALIF. GOP DELEGATE GINA GLEASON: Nice and warm and sunny. And the breeze is fantastic, and the water’s warm.

MYROW: Paul Ryan’s speech was last night. What was the California delegation’s reaction to it?

STOLTZE: They were just as excited as all the other delegates. I talked to a number of them afterwards, and here’s a couple of the California delegates who listened in on Paul Ryan last night.

DELEGATE GWEN DYRUD: Gwen Dyrud of Santa Ana, California. His confidence: “We can do this.” Oh, I loved that. I loved the straightforward talk. He didn’t talk like a high-falutin’ Congressman. He talked like your neighbor. Continue reading

PBS NewsHour, NPR and KQED Cover the 2012 Republican Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention to officially nominate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presidential candidate and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate is now under way in Tampa, Florida.

PBS NewsHour has full online coverage and analysis of the event.

[View the story “RNC Live Blog” on Storify]

NPR has a full rundown of upcoming convention highlights including a schedule of speakers, and will have live radio coverage and analysis beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. ET.

KQED’s Forum held an hour-long discussion about the Republican convention with journalists, analysts and California delegates on Aug. 28. Host Michael Krasny spoke with:

  • Belva Davis, host of KQED Public Television’s “This Week in Northern California”
  • Bill Whalen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Carla Marinucci, political writer for The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Ricky Gill, Republican candidate in California’s 9th Congressional District
  • Sally Zelikovsky, California delegate (San Rafael) to the 2012 RNC

Listen to the audio here.