When we reported a few weeks back that Clint Eastwood endorsed Mitt Romney, we had no idea that the campaign would give him the podium; one that was being watched by millions of people. Or that he would give one of the most memorable speeches in convention history. Needless to say, we were gleefully surprised by it all (as was most of Twitter and the blogosphere).
While the media tried to decipher the cultural/political/economic implications of the speech, Eastwood remained silent on his remarks. Until yesterday: in an interview with the Carmel Pine Cone, the newspaper of the town in which Eastwood used to be Mayor, Clint had a few things to say about what exactly happened in Tampa. He called the Obama administration the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” and told reporter Paul Miller the inside story.
So, here at the Voice, we’re going to take you through the good, the bad and the ugly of Clint Eastwood’s speech, one theme and one defense at a time.
On the constituencies: “I may have irritated a lot of the lefties but I was aiming for people in the middle.”
On the facts: “I had three major points I wanted to make. That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s doing a bad job.”
On the improv: “They vet most of people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say.” “I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.” “That’s what happens when you don’t have a written-out speech.”
On the stool and Invisible Obama: “There was a stool there and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down. When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”
On Clint Eastwood: “They’ve got this crazy actor who’s 82 years old up there in a suit. I was a mayor, and they’re probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor, I never gave speeches. I gave talks.”
On Romney and Ryan after the speech: “They were very enthusiastic and we were all laughing.”
On the audience: “They really seemed to be enjoying themselves.”
Ain’t that the truth, Clint.
(For the full interview in the Carmel Pine Cone, click here).