Of all the famous and talented movie stars out there, Clint Eastwood has to be, if not my favorite, certainly way up there on my favorite all time actor’s list.
Sure, some of his films were controversial in their time (the original Dirty Harry, in particular, was viewed by some as a fascist screed) and there is an argument to be made that he tended to play the same character over and over again…though he certainly did try to vary his output and branch out into other genres…including, believe it or not, musicals!
Yesterday, Mr. Eastwood tried his hand at something else…delivering one of the concluding speeches before Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech during the finale of the Republican Convention in Tampa.
His performance was…bewildering.
I didn’t see it live…My wife did and what she told me about it, immediately after it occurred, sounded like it just couldn’t be. “He was talking to a chair!” she said. Come on…you’re joking, right? “He didn’t make any sense!” she said. No sense? Though I may not agree with all of Mr. Eastwood’s politics, in the interviews I’ve seen him in he’s usually well spoken and intelligent. Indeed, whenever he strayed into political talk during interviews (he was the Mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, after all) he always seemed to be well reasoned.
And then, after the fact, I saw it.
I suppose it’s easy to shrug Mr. Eastwood’s convention speech as the work of someone who’s clearly showing his age. He is, after all, 82 years old and…nah. That’s just too easy. Maybe Mr. Eastwood simply got caught up in the moment. Maybe he (mistakenly) thought he could just “wing it” with his speech and didn’t need to have much preparation.
Regardless, Mr. Romney’s handlers must be pretty livid. After all, following a (hopefully) successful convention one would like to think that the candidate for the party has been given a push toward election.
Instead, it appears what’s on most people’s lips, for better or worse, is Mr. Eastwood’s very strange performance.