Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Modern day conventions are heavily scripted affairs for TV. Every speech is vetted by the campaign and are rehearsed in advance. Nothing occurs at the convention in front of the cameras that has not been previously approved by the campaign. Nothing.
The RNC spent the first three days of the convention keeping the "crazy" aunts and uncles off the stage during prime time, so as not to scare the viewers at home.
But on the biggest night of Willard "Mittens" Romney's political career, Team Romney decided to open network TV coverage with a Vaudeville act by Clint Eastwood, rather than a well-done biographical video about Romney.
Clint Eastwood delivered what appeared to be an ad-libed, rambling and often incoherent comedy shtick, speaking to an invisible President Barack Obama in an empty chair. His act would have earned him the hook at the Apollo Theater.
Thank God he did not bring his orangutan Clyde with him from his movie Every Which Way But Loose (1978), which is what he was riffing from (Eastwood spends most of the movie speaking to Clyde, who of course never responds).
The obvious questions for Team Romney are "Was Clint Eastwood's Vaudeville act vetted and rehearsed in advance? Did Team Romney preapprove the act that aired on network TV?" What was the rehearsal discussion like? "Um, Clint, we think Clyde is a bit too overt. Let's go with the empty chair, much more subtle. Our target audience will get it."
One-third of the audience at home was angered by Clint Eastwood demeaning the office of the presidency (which is a big thing for Republicans when they are in office, not so much when a Democrat is in office). One-third of the audience was left with their mouths agape in shock, wondering "what the f#%k is wrong with Clint?" Team Romney's target audience is bookmarking the video and sharing it with their friends today.
This was a serious failure of convention management by Team Romney. Eastwood distracts from Romney’s moment. People will little remember an unmemorable speech from Willard "Mittens" Romney. The only thing people will remember and that will dominate the news cycle -- not to mention become a staple of late night comedians -- is Clint Eastwood's crazy Vaudeville act.
Sandwiched in between Clint Eastwood's opening act and Romney's acceptance speech was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who used his speech not to introduce Romney and sing his praises but rather, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did with his Keynote Address, used his speech to introduce himself to voters for the GOP primary in 2016. This was another serious failure of convention management by Team Romney.
Obama reelection spokesman Ben LaBolt mocked the Eastwood performance in a tweet, saying “Referring all questions to Salvador Dali.” (Dude, way too cerebral for a GOP audience to get it).
From the president’s official Twitter account came a "make my day" response: “This seat’s taken,” with an image of Obama seen from the back in a brown leather chair, brass plaque reading “The President.”