Last Updated:July 25 @ 12:17 pm

Eastwood and the symbolism of the empty chair

By AP Staff

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Clint Eastwood, the Hollywood filmmaker who knows all about sticking to the script, turned in what seemed like an oddly unscripted endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney Wednesday night.

Standing on the convention stage with an empty chair, Eastwood carried on a sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama.

The actor and director talked about Oprah Winfrey, Obama's unfulfilled promise to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lawyers.

At one point, Eastwood talked about letting Obama go and making a change.

"When somebody doesn't do the job, you gotta let `em go," Eastwood said. The tough-guy actor of "Dirty Harry" fame drew a finger across his throat.

The crowd cheered Eastwood's entrance and his famed shouted his famed catchphrase, "Go ahead, make my day." But backstage, stern-faced Romney aides winced at times as Eastwood's remarks stretched on.

On a night where virtually every moment was scripted, Eastwood was among the only speakers not reading from a teleprompter as he spoke.

The Oscar-winning director of "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby," Eastwood criticized Obama for failing to turn the economy around and for wanting to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.

Eastwood says Obama has failed to deliver on his promises and it's time for Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, to take over.

He entertained the audience with a mock interview with Obama, posing questions and pretending that Obama had told Eastwood to shut up.

Eastwood endorsed Romney earlier this month at a campaign event in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt and Steve Peoples contributed to this report.

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25 Comments

  1. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 31, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    I loved this segment but I thought Clint seemed a little disoriented, but he got his message across and I loved it.

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    • downdraftComment by downdraft
      August 31, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      Well, re “disoriented”…no. This guy is 8o years something, but he wasn’t disoriented…his uncombed hair, his hesitations, his mannerisms might have appeared from being “disoriented”…

      ….but he planned and took advantage of his age and our perception of him as an “ole fart” carrying out a conversation with a person who made promises he can’t keep, a wet behind the ears youngster who can’t find his arse with both hands…i.e., Obama.

      As one of those “ole farts”, I felt he was talking to me, and delivering a message to other ole farts watching…he was speaking our language…and it was exactly what “ole farts” think of politicians who turn out to be just plain incompetent employees…or fakes.

      I know Clint, and he is SHARP still…and far from disoriented…he is a very good actor and was an excellent mayor in California…and last night, I think he got a lot of votes from older America for Mitt.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      August 31, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      IT WAS AN ACT! Clint was brilliantly funny. Think Gran Torino and his new movie, Trouble With the Curve. He was in character. He was the only one with enough ***** to not have to say ‘obuma’s a nice guy’. Thanks Clint, ex-Mayor of one of the most beautiful cities in America, Carmel by the Sea.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      August 31, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

      He was great in Gran Torino. The teasers for his new movie look like he plays a similar character. He did seem to ramble at times, but I don’t think he detracted from the convention like the MSM did. Maybe he appeased the displaced Paul fans a bit since he is a Libertarian.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 31, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

      The LEFT, Hollywood, the Media, are going into fever driven fits over Eastwood. He got under their cadaver-thin skin. Even Obama took umbridge, no thinner skin than he.

      To Romney’s huge & stunning credit, he let Eastwood have the stage, unscripted, un-teleprompted. The image provided was very gutsy too. None other than, The Outlaw Josey Wales, with two 1847 .44 Cal Walker Dragoon Colts* stared down from the screen. ( *the most powerful handgun in the 1860′s, rivaled only in the 1950′s. ) This is Eastwood’s favorite movie of his, by the way.

      Kasie Hunt & Steve Peoples, Associated Press reporters, did their amateurish best to belittle Eastwood. Trotting out pansy Romney aides, stern faced, wincing, well if this is true, get rid of them Romney! At the age of 82, Eastwood has more manliness, than these, ah, punks.

      Clint, you made my day!

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    • superinfidelComment by superinfidel
      August 31, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      Downdraft, Barry can’t find his own arse with both hands and a map!

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      September 1, 2012 @ 1:16 am

      Yes, he did seem a bit disoriented, but remember, first of all, he is 82 years old and secondly, he is a skilled and accomplished actor. So was it an act? Hmmm, might have been.\

      Anyway, he sure “made my day”…

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    • cornerguard66Comment by cornerguard66
      September 1, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      What Clint Eastwood did was give Americans “permission” to vote against Obama. They can get over the “guilt trip” of having to vote out of office the “first Black President” because he is “not doing the job” he was elected to do -restore America. Obama is living the “dreams” he got “FROM his father. The problem is that his father was a Kenyan NOT AN AMERICAN! We need AMERICAN DREAMS governing our country. This is what we will get from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

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  2. Mercy SwailsComment by Mercy Swails
    August 31, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    Eastwood is a patriot to stand up for what he believes. He’s over 80 now and like the rest of us worried for his country. Sad the left is gonna rip him to shreds but while his delivery was not the young man we remember the content was on the mark. GOD BLESS YOU CLINT.

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  3. Mercy SwailsComment by Mercy Swails
    August 31, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    God bless you Clint!

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  4. sexysadieComment by sexysadie
    August 31, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    Well, at least Clint has a legitimate excuse for being a bit “disoriented” (which I didn’t think he was at all). But, what’s Biden’s excuse??? I thought Clint was funny, brutally honest (which a lot of people cannot take), and on the mark. An empty chair? Brilliant symbolism in my opinion!

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      August 31, 2012 @ 10:55 am

      Well he could have had an emperor with no clothes in the chair but it wasn’t a PG affair it was a GOP affair.

      And as John would have put it “Way to go, Pilgrim”.

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  5. debby682Comment by debby682
    August 31, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Clint was excellent,the only thing he should have added was the first line of the theme song from Rawhide get em up move em out.

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  6. Jim ColesComment by Jim Coles
    August 31, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    Clint was fabulous! I loved the symbolism, the ‘earthy dialogue’ between himself and the empty suit/empty chair Obama…Campaign aides are notoriously uptight…and pundits of all persuasions are overly-impressed with themselves and their wisdom…
    At no time was our man Clint disoriented…he was clever, played his character perfectly and stuck that knife deep into Obama…
    Harry…you made my day!

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  7. librabobComment by librabob
    August 31, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    Way to go Clint! You hit it out of the park for us millions of baby boomers who have great admiration and respect for you. You are symbolic of all that is good about America.

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  8. Karen C. PottgenComment by Karen C. Pottgen
    August 31, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Clint Eastwood can’t “do that to himself”, but Obama can!

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  9. makesenseComment by makesense
    August 31, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    Disoriented? No, that is part of his acting.

    Is what he did not what one would do when one is carrying a very personal, polite and respectful conversation with a President – in such a delicate situation – to tell him that he has not done so well these last four years and it is time for him to be shown out the door? The critics surely missed seeing the total framework of Clint’s live “movie skit”. Do critics lack imagination… looks like it, yes?

    I would call this skit “A Dream My Father Never Had”.

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    • superinfidelComment by superinfidel
      August 31, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

      Barry wasn’t very polite to Clint or Governor Romney in Clint’s interview with him last night at the convention.

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  10. clarkentComment by clarkent
    August 31, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Just loved it. Clint had me laughing so hard,and he made his points. We can replace Obama, but we can never replace Clint. Plus we all know that the Obumer was watching, because they put out a picture of him telling everybody that the Prez seat is taken. But he wasn’t listening to Clint who said we need to get rid of him. So Mr. Prez, prepare to be replaced by someone who can do that WH chair some good.

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    • superinfidelComment by superinfidel
      August 31, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

      ‘Plus we all know that the Obumer was watching, because they put out a picture of him telling everybody that the Prez seat is taken.’ Yeah, what the HELL-o is that??? Oh-it’s Barry’s thin-skin-covered chair.

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  11. caw2386541Comment by caw2386541
    August 31, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    AMEN to all nailed it! nailed it! make Clint Secetary of State

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  12. superinfidelComment by superinfidel
    August 31, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Barry rambles more than Moses in the desert, but everyone LIKES Clint! We enjoyed it.

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  13. gopgalComment by gopgal
    August 31, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    I thought the symbolism of the empty chair was more akin to the empty promises Obama has made to America.

    A refreshing unrehearsed speech from a legend.

    Obama’s tweet today said “this chair was taken” but NOT FOR LONG

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  14. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    August 31, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    I loved Eastwood’s unscripted speech and watched it several times after from my DVR. He was funny and yet provided some great lines. I also enjoyed the one-sided monologue he had with the chair (Obama). It broke up the monotony listening to the other speakers and set the stage for Rubio and Romney.

    Clint is a national treasure much as was John Wayne.

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  15. Eagle OneComment by Eagle One
    September 2, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    Another great line from Clint,
    “A mans got to know his limitations.”
    It is apparent O doesn’t know his and you know the end of that story… :)

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