Go Ahead, Make Romney’s Day

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The Republican National Convention was a well-run, brilliant spectacle: beautifully staged, wonderfully timed, and with fantastic speakers. But no one decision showed that the Romney campaign gets it more than their decision to invite Clint Eastwood to speak just before Marco Rubio on the night of Mitt Romney’s nomination.

Andrew Breitbart (and David Horowitz) was fond of saying that politics lies downstream from culture. In other words, culture changes how people think and feel; politics is a reflection of that change. And Hollywood is the central component of American culture.

And Clint Eastwood represents the last gasp of classic Hollywood: old-fashioned heroes and anti-heroes who stand strong for American values of justice and freedom. Eastwood is the same Eastwood in Dirty Harry (1971) as he is in Gran Torino (2008). In the former, he won’t stand for Americans’ safety and property rights being violated by criminals, no matter what the liberal niceties require. In the latter, he stands up for private property against the forces of thuggery.

That’s the Clint Eastwood who strode onto the stage.

And then he did something no leftist Hollywood figure would do: a comedy routine. Eastwood stood up there and ad libbed a routine … with an empty chair. The chair, of course, represented President Obama in all of his indecisive glory.

“I remember three and a half years ago, when Mr. Obama
 won the election,” said Dirty Harry:

“And though I was not a big supporter, 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 outdoors, and it was nice, and people
 were lighting candles.
 They were saying, I just thought, this was great. 
Everybody is crying, Oprah was crying. I was even crying. And then finally — and I 
haven’t 
cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million
 unemployed 
people in this country.”

Ouch.

The left went insane over Eastwood’s routine, calling it unfunny, wandering, and bizarre. There was some of all of that – not every moment was blockbuster. But overall, it was genius. The meme took hold: Obama was an empty chair. And this week, conservatives across the country celebrated National Empty Chair Day over Labor Day, placing empty chairs on their lawns to signify an empty presidency.

That’s the power of imagery and narrative. Perhaps the two most powerful takeaway moments from the RNC were Eastwood’s empty chair routine, and Paul Ryan’s tremendously powerful line: “College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” Ryan’s line spawned an entire ad showing a college student removing his faded Obama poster after recognizing that Obama hasn’t lived up to any of his promises.

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  • Asher

    Eastwood was a class act and didn't even use a teleprompter at 82. One of the last traditional great actors that is remembered for his talent and for his values and patriotism. The American people know they are worse off after almost 4 years of Idiots running the government, and that is the issue that resonates with everyone.

    • BS77

      As predictable as frost in January, the leftist cry babies began whining about Eastwood's appearance…criticizing, minimizing, and attacking anything that the public actually enjoyed. All the regular liberalistas from the NY Times tried to throw Eastwood under the proverbial bus, but most Americans are SICK of the left, the socialist elites, the collectivists, the mega bureaucracy trillion dollar deficit Democrats, the multiculturists, the open borders wack jobs….people are wise to the leftists and their plans to turn this country into another Euro socialist nightmare.

    • BS77

      Eastwood was cool. I knew the liberals would immediately attack anything he said or did.

  • benjabo

    Eastwood brought a Gatling gun, not a measly six shooter

  • montlasky

    Clint was great! He was "almost "subtle" but as a senior citizen from the Hollywood successes he created, he made his point far clearer than the "make my day" classic. Appoint him a senator and watch the honest fun he will create with some positive thinking!

    • trickyblain

      You know senators are not appointed?

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        Depends on the state and if it's a special election kind of seat to fill.

    • mlcblog

      I can't think he'd be interested in hanging with those old fools.

  • Schlomotion

    Mr. Shapiro is onto something. When the last gasps of Clint Eastwood, Andrew Breitbart, David Horowitz, and William Kristol are combined, this necrotic exhalation is a gale force hurricane. Hoist the sails, O! Paul Ryan and Ben Shapiro to the melody of the band "Styx." We will all sail downstream on the river of culture into the mercury contaminated harbor of politics and frolic in its thick, goopy waters. We will reverse the curse of Ferlinghetti and the Haight Ashbury, as we revert back from butterflies into philosophers, and from philosophers back into realists.

    We will cross over into Hades, where we will meet the true pantheon of conservatives, and be greeted at the gates by the three headed canine guardian whose faces are Rand, Buckley, and McCarthy. We will don tight fitting black suits and thick horn rimmed glasses. We will abbreviate the first letter of our names and go by our middle names and the conservative truth will be played in whole notes on lutes.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Isn't that the kind of tripe Castro said about Cuba 55 years ago?

      How did that work for them?

      • Schlomotion

        Castro took over Cuba personally and held it for the rest of his life. I would say that is a pretty good showing. I don't agree with their type of government, but your question, as a "battler of the forces of Tokyo Rose" was whether Castro's words worked out or not. They seem to have.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          What is good for Castro isn't good for Cuba. I'd say that's a horrible ego driven showing and for you to ignore the things he's done there to people is a measure of your lack of soul.

          • Schlomotion

            The day white guys lecture me on soul will be a dubiously frigid day in Gehenna.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            The day you make sense is the day you won't deserve that lecture.

    • Advocatus

      There, there, what a clever boy you are. Don't forget to brush your teeth before you go to bed.

    • Max

      Shlom, double your meds. The current dose is not working.

    • Joe Ordinary

      Schlomotion, this is almost poetry. How do yo do it?

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        He almost does everything he sets his mind to.

    • Ghostwriter

      He didn't attack the Jews! Schlomotion ACTUALLY went through one post WITHOUT attacking Jews! That's a rare thing for him. Let's hope it holds up.

      • Schlomotion

        Actually, I did, but it's in a very large anagram.

  • Wi. L. Garrison

    Shapiro's agitprop flops. Even Republicans know that Eastwood blew it. Frontpage reads more and more like the Old MAD, minus the humor.

    • Atikva

      "Republicans know that Eastwood blew it"

      No they don't.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      MAD? Mecca Assured Destruction?

    • Nomadic100

      Eastwood's performance was a true act of genius. Oscar worthy! And I don't believe he ad libbed it. I believe that every gesture, every apparent verbal stumble, every word, were consummately planned and rehearsed. Just brilliant!

  • amused

    I knew Eastwood was losing it when he got his family on a reality show .This confirms it . I'm a great fan , but the Romney people shoulda known he could be a wild card …..and he was . Even Gingrich -the-dumber knew it was a bad move . But in a sense it typifies the Republican party -shadow boxing with an empty chair . No doubt the Democrats will get a few laughs out of this …oh …and look , even OCCUPY is stealing some of your thunder as the "eternal victims " there already at the Dems Convention . Thought they were an evil "Soros Plan "against the Republicans .

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      If he blew it, you wouldn't be sent here along with the other muslim friendly trolls to rip on his empty chair monologue.

      • amused

        Oh yea Rogo-poo , Ive recieved my orders from " A SECRIT MESSENGER " along with a siutcase full with un-marked hundred dollar bills ! Clint came down a notch with the reality show , you know the klinds you guys are always bashing .And I see you haven't got around your reading disabilities yet either , I'm not muslim freindly that's the parrot memes your head is overstuffed with oozing out . If the Romney people had half-a-brain , they woulda got one of the Bush' up there . Silly half-rambling standup routines are for tyhe benefitc of the select audience , it's the Independents that need to be convinced , both candidates know it . To them it was a dog and whistle show .

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          That Trista Parsi office is over paying you, and I don't even know how little you make here.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Obama lost Eastwood?

      Obama lost lots of people. That translates to President Romney.

      • amused

        oh yea and I'm sure he's shedding tears over that …..tears of laughter that is .

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          His being detached from reality makes everyone cry.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          The teas of laughter will be from Americans seeing the Obamatons shrieking and throwing themselves off rooftops when Obama loses.

          Dhimmi Carter can give Obama nails and a hammer to build some shacks with him.

      • nightspore

        amused has to keep up the reality warp at all costs. What fascinates me is the panache with which he (and others like him) can insist that the circle can be squared or that 2 and 2 makes 3.

    • Max

      Sir (or madam): like Shlomotion, you need to double your meds. And try to become gainfully employed to occupy your day. An idle mind is a devil's workshop, as you should know.

  • Sally Randall

    Clint was great. I don't know what planet you're living on.

    • amused

      yea Great in the movies /but doing a political "standup routine " with an empty chair ? Politically Eastwood is against about half of the Republican platform .What planet are YOU living on ?

      • dammad

        Clint's brilelanc was in doing what he did. The Republicans greatness was in allowing him to be there UNSCRIPTED. Dems won't risk it. Get it yet?

        • amused

          yea , and THAT "greatness " already cut ole' Clint out the RNC video .. lol..".nice job Clint, now under the bus with ya " . BTW , pretty poor explanation dammad , you must be a legend in your own mind

          • fiddler

            Weird. Eastwood had nothing to loose and he made a good point.

            He left a image in people's mind of an AWOL administration, existing for itself and for "transforming" America.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            amused, Go bake some cookies.

            And keep your hands off Hansel and Gretel!

          • amused

            brilliant …and sooo typical .

  • Western Spirit

    Well finally Schlowmo Your getting some sense. But we can do without without the black suits, horn rimmed and glasses and all that other crap, Otherwise well done keep up the good work bravo.

  • Pepetaco

    Clint Eastwood painted a mental picture of Barack Obama that can't be erased–a man of emptiness!!! It was sheer genius…even Bill Maher said so!

    • amused

      yea , he painted a picture that suited his audience , while others wonder if he's gone senile . The sane people of this country will wait for the debates , when all the show acting will stop .What you forget and it's been confirmed by the numerous phone calls I've recieved from RNC & DNC callers , Independents ,will decide this election , and dogwhistle shows like Clint's aint gonna cut the mustard .Neither democrats nor Republicans hold a majority of the electorate .

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        No, and you can't show a single thing to show he's more than an empty chair, or you would just prove Clint wrong instead of the cheap personal attacks.

        • fiddler

          "amused" reveals that he is a "loyal" unionite. Willing to believe anything his masters say.

          Amused (or abused) whereever you are. It is your country too. Do you want our wealth to go to other countries? Want a weak America? The fainting has stopped, the spectacle is over. Time for the brutal truth. Pepetaco's statement is correct, but your "hope" still shows. Sorry amused your "answer" amounts to school-yard taunt, nothing more.

          • amused

            wealth to other countries ? Indeed , two republicans opened the door to China where American buisness was drooling to get into that maret of no regulation and dirt cheap labor , Nixon and Reagan . The result ? Drywall that rots your electrical lines and plumbing in the homes in which it was instalkled , dog food that kills your dog , undependable products that are cheap cheap cheap which directly contributed to China spending 33% of it's GNP on a military that's set up to be used against our interests . Clints "empty chair " represents the "empty heads " of the republican party .

  • Wesley69

    National Chair Day on Labor Day. Put up the flag, possibly upside down in emergency mode. Under it put out an empty chair. Thanks, Clint. A simple metaphor, but an excellent one.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I've got a broken chair that I've put on my lawn, Wesley!

      • Wesley69

        That's about all Obama deserves.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Obama wasn't there.

    He was at the golf course.

  • MarkRich

    Bottom line is no matter what you think about the routine Clint put on-YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IT! And the fact is visual props leave an indelible mark on an electorate. What Clint did was and is classic- it emphasizes less about himself(though that is important because he is one of the most beloved and recognized actors in our HISTORY-an ICON ) and more about the symbolism and power of his message. Even the hateful, disgusting Bill Maher grasped the significance. Leftists can TRY and turn it upside down and ridicule the delivery, stumbling and age- but in reality they already lost this one as the CHAIR is now indelibly a part of this campaign and it aint going away.

    • MarkRich

      Concerning my ( -119) score- (I havent posted to FPM in ages)- I am a casualty of the Paulbots and proud of it!

      • Steeloak

        As was I, but as you can see – they go away and we don't! It didn't take long for my score to bounce back with quality posting.

        • Looking4Sanity

          You've got my support buddy! I recognized you as a quality poster early on. Stay the course.

  • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

    Clint's unpolished improv was admittedly a few notches below Second City caliber. But he's neither a stand up comedian nor a slick-talking politician. I don't think anyone expected to him to be another Joe Biden. Bottom line: The GOP didn't lose any votes as a result of Clint's wise cracks.

    • amused

      Iratus Folio no , the GOP didn't lose any votes among republicans , nor did they gain any from the Independents who BOTH parties know will decide this election . And they won't be won by dog and whistle shows .

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        No dog and whistle shows? No, the common term is dog and pony shows.

        Did you learn english at the American University in Cairo?

        • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

          A man's got to know his limitations.

          • amused

            Yea , and Clint apparently forgot his , he already got CUT out of the RNC video ….lol..".great job Clint , now under the bus with ya " BWAAAHAHAHA .

  • HighPressure

    "Truth" is a bizarre notion to the left. That is why they don’t understand good humor. Good humor is always accompanied by truth. So the narcissist left ain’t gonna get it. They on a whole is a sour group.

  • Raymond in DC

    Clint managed not just to portray Obama as an absent leader, but a nasty and petulant one. When he said "I can't ask Romney to do that to himself," everyone could imagine a frustrated, angry and profane Obama cursing Romney in such a fashion. Obama has made known that he has a low regard for Romney and doesn't understand why people take him seriously. After all, is Obama not The One we've been waiting for? What's a decent, accomplished man compared to *that*?

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      I'm waiting on Obama right outside the white house as he leaves with his suite case and family.

  • jemaasjr

    I like Republicans just fine. On occasion I have even been one. But as a group they lean toward the anal retentive. As a result, they do not entirely get what Eastwood was doing. The performance had a certain logic in it and it made some points. But really it was about passion. Like a court jester in feudal Europe, by playing the fool, Eastwood got away with making fun of the king. While I am not a fan of hit job politics generally, Obama has managed to be selectively above the fray. Eastwood brought him down to the every day level and had a good time mocking him.

  • Dan Bonnie

    I don't know if I can last until Nov. 6th. I'm exploding with emotion having to listen to all the Marxist radical bastards taking OUR country down into the depths of Hell! Can I ask for a violent thunderstorm just five seconds before Obastard takes the stage this week?

    • Vermont Yid

      Obama is an enemy of Israel and Jews in general. History will prove that he is also an enemy of the U.S.A.

      Obama – may he rest in peace!

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        The same kind of peace that islam offers?

    • amused

      to prevent explosions and injuring anyone around you ,and splattering them with shiiit , calmly place your head up your asss whjen it's time to blow .

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        Do you still have the instruction manuel that you used?

  • RAS

    Clint made my day. After many years of watching and associating with Liberals I have discovered that (1) they don't handle ridicule well, (2) they have difficulty defending their position when subjected to reasonable cross- examination, (3) they will resort to name calling anytime they are threatened (which is often), and (4) they tend to be more sect-like then philosophical or thoughtful. So if you want to do them in, smile, ask them lots of substantive questions, accept and admit to the names they will lay on you, and shake your head and snicker as you walk away.

  • Mari Jo O'Neill

    I lliked what Clint Eastwood did, it was honest and there was no "bull'. The lefites don't like it because he is a conservative, and not a left coast whacko. Then you have people like Jason Biggs who make vulgar comments about someones wife and no one thinks that is wrong. You didn't hear any of the left wing liberal media make any comments about what he said. It is so pathetic & Disgucting. These idiots call themselves journalists and they are just talking little robots.

  • Tanstaafl jw

    Let's all make fun of the old guy. It's far better then admitting our liberal politics got us in this mess.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Sarcasm…..

  • isntlam

    I thought Mr Eastwood’s comedic timing and delivery were excellent. Not to be a fault-finder, but Dirty Harry’s weapon wasn’t a Colt. It was a S&W .44 magnum. Punk!

    • tagalog

      Well, there WAS that Casull after it replaced the S & W .44 magnum as the most powerful handgun in the world.

      And of course, ample allowance ought to be made for that harpoon gun.

      But my favorite Dirty Harry moment was the debate with Tyne Daly over the .357 magnum and the .44 magnum. Being a .357 man myself (too much uncontrollable recoil in the .44), I was interested in that.

      Colt .357 magnums DO show up on Magnum Force, with one or more of the vigilante cops using the Python (4 inch model).

  • Nakba1948

    Just another piece of evidence that Zionist-neocon nuts have a difficult time digesting reality. Eastwood BOMBED, and the majority of Republicans know it.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      You just bombed, and we all know it.

  • trickyblain

    "Conservatives" have replaced Labor Day with a holiday where they put empty chairs outside? Are they supposed to yell at an invisible black guy in it? I guess anything to hide the fact that they don't have any company to actually sit in the chairs helps them, somehow.

    So, best of luck with that. I'm sure it will catch on like wildfire. Go "National Chair Day."

    I love Eastwood and — even politically — probably agree with him on more positions than the vast majority of FPMers (definitely more than the blank-eyed fundies), but this will be a minor gaffe in an otherwise brilliant career.

    Now get off my lawn, you empty chair.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      If only the empty chair would get out of our white house.

      • trickyblain

        You frequently complain that he rules by fiat…even call him a dictator. Now he's an empty chair. Kinda hard to argue both at the same time. Yet you will. And you'll be right in your own mind, Rog!

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          I notice you didn't show where he actually followed the restraints on his branch or where he was involved in any substantive effective programs.

          So, it seems you can't show I'm wrong on either count.

          • trickyblain

            I notice you try to make others prove negatives. I don't attempt to prove negatives, Rog.

            An empty chair and a totalitarian dictator are wholly opposite political rulers.

            Which is it, "serious mind"?

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            I notice you ignore things. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-03/u-s-admi
            Obama has been ruling by decree and has been ruled in contempt of court for it.

            And… also has not been a major part of any effective program. http://www.redstate.com/dhorowitz3/2012/05/04/apr

            You aren't very tricky.

      • trickyblain

        You frequently complain that he rules by fiat…even call him a dictator. Now he's an empty chair. Kinda hard to argue both at the same time. Yet you will. And you'll be right in your own mind, Rog!

  • dennis x

    Wow, you captured the 82 year old white male vote!

  • Jim_C

    A radical, communist, Islamist-loving dictator in waiting. One that is both supremely incompetent, and paradoxically so powerful that he threatens the end of the USA as we know it!

    That's who sits in Eastwood's chair. An Obama only Republicans can truly see.

  • phaenestia

    Grandpa Clint sure still has IT *__*! Wisdom and performance of an artist of his age still shines brightly. How fitting, and timely to use a simple prop creatively thought; an empty chair, which spoke volume. If I may add and empty clothes hanger to boot.

  • Questions

    "Last gasp of Old Hollywood" my foot. Methinks Ben has been reading too much Michael Medved. Every superhero flick, from the "Batman" to the "Iron Man" franchises, is about heroism — there's a fine piece in the new issue of Commentary that makes this point. You also can check out various recent war movies ("Black Hawk Down," "Saving Private Ryan," "Windtalkers," "Hart's War," "We Were Soldiers," and Eastwood's own "Flags of Our Fathers"), all of which contain more heroism than a whole convention of GOP policy wonks and activists. Shapiro needs a critic's chair.

  • nightspore

    Come to think of it, an empty chair could represent BO's time at Columbia or his presidency. (There seems to be a pattern …)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Yes, both of you muslim friendly trolls would stick together.

    So, do you sit near Trista Parsi's office?