The “empty chair”: the lesson Clint gave Mitt
After each Presidential election campaign is over, the strategists, staff, and candidates will reminisce about some of their “finest hours.” I offer, the unscripted convention appearance of Clint Eastwood as one of those hours.
At the time his remarks were given, the Romney camp admitted they had no idea what he was going to say. And that’s a good thing. When I read the reviews of his speech, and listened to the commentary of pundits using words, “weird,” “sad,” “crazy uncle,” my reaction was, no, the joke’s on you. Clint Eastwood is one of America’s most pre-eminent writers, actors and directors. He has spent his life studying people, and bringing to life a multitude of film characters who touch our souls and our emotions.
For people to believe that Eastwood would go on stage, at a major national convention in support of the candidate he wants to see elected, with anything less than a pre-planned remarks, regardless of the improv-like routine, shows how they might have missed the deftness of Eastwood remarks. That chair didn’t just appear on the convention stage, it had to be asked for, and asked for a reason. Eastwood effortlessly delivered some carefully crafted zingers at just the right moments, exuding an ease and subtle mockery that was lethal. He also spoke lines,
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.
But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best.
And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.
that drove home the situation we, as a nation, find oursevles in, and mirrored the thoughts and feelings of many Americans regarding a President they once voted for, but in whom many are deeply disappointed. This was improvisation that was not improvisation.
Did Clint outshine Mitt? Maybe, maybe not, depends on how you view his comments. But think for a moment about what people are talking about. The empty chair. Think about how that prop got under the skin of a certain individual and elicited a Twitter response. Think about the lesson that Clint gave Mitt, if Mitt was listening and learned. That “crazy uncle” is one smart dude.
Make our day.