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