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Last night at the Republican National Convention, movie star, director and cultural icon Clint Eastwood gave an address that might politely be called awkward. Eastwood started out fine, attempting to debunk the notion that all of Hollywood is liberal. “There’s a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people — Republicans, Democrats — in Hollywood. It’s just that conservative people, by the nature of the word itself, play it a little more close to the vest and they don’t go around hotdoggin’ it.”
It’s at that juncture that the 82-year-old Eastwood seemed to belie that very point by engaging in a flamboyant performance piece that might put some Democrats in mind of a first-year acting exercise, others of a breakthrough Gestalt therapy session, and to the truly uncharitable a temporary psychotic break. What Eastwood did was put an imaginary Barack Obama in a real chair he had toted on stage, then engage the president in a rather one-sided conversation.
Even — or especially — the Romney camp was not digging the act. From the New York Times today:
Clint Eastwood’s rambling and off-color endorsement of Mitt Romney on Thursday seemed to startle and unsettle even the candidate’s own top aides, several of whom made a point of distancing themselves from the decision to put him onstage without a polished script.
“Not me,” said an exasperated-looking senior adviser, when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In late-night interviews, aides variously called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.”
Finger-pointing quickly ensued, suggesting real displeasure and even confusion over the handling of Mr. Eastwood’s performance, which was kept secret until the last minute. Full article