Eastwood agent: Convention Speech Was Surprise to Me

Longtime agent says he knew nothing about Clint Eastwood's planned speech.

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TAMPA---Mitt Romney's aides weren't the only ones left in the dark about Clint Eastwood's bizarre speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night.  Eastwood's longtime agent and manager Leonard Hirshan seemed genuinely perplexed when reached by phone Friday from Tampa.

"I don't know how this came about," Hirshan said. "I was watching to see who was speaking [at the convention]. And I knew when other people found out."

Hirshan said it was likely Eastwood wrote the speech, in which he addressed an empty chair he pretended was President Obama, entirely on his own.

"Mr. Eastwood prepares everything himself¬ He doesn't have a group of people who write anything," he said. Hirshan said Eastwood is not doing media interviews about the speech.

The speech created a buzz among the millions of Americans watching convention coverage on TV and following along on social media, where an @invisibleobama account gained thousands of followers on Twitter, and where the term #Eastwooding - or pointing at an empty chair - became a meme.

Salt Lake Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke is believed to have started #Eastwooding, but Romney campaign staffers were among the first to start sharing empty chair photos too. Within hours, President Obama's Twitter account had responded to Eastwood, posting a photo of the commander-in-chief in his executive chair with the caption: "This seat's taken."

In case you missed it, here are some background links:

  • Romney's aides
  • Eastwood's speech
  • Invisible Obama
  • Robert Gehrke
  • Campaign staffers
  • Barack Obama's post