Actor and director Clint Eastwood was the "mystery speaker" Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, giving an unconventional address which included a conversation with an invisible Barack Obama sitting in a chair next to the podium. Eastwood's unscripted remarks seemed to lack a clear objective, often rambling and trailing off during his one-sided exchange.
The Academy Award winner said that while many Hollywood liberals are vocal about their political leanings, there are just as many conservatives in the film industry:
You are thinking, what's a movie tradesman doing out here? You know they are all left wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least that is what people think. That is not really the case. There are a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot dogging it.
Eastwood elicited confusion when he first began speaking to empty chair at his side, leaving many wondering what exactly was going on. He endorsed Mitt Romney and chided the invisible president for unemployment and the war in Afghanistan, and not following up on his campaign promises.
But I just think that there is so much to be done, and I think that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are two guys that can come along.
Eastwood finished the speech by getting the convention audience to repeat one of his signature movie lines: "Go ahead. Make my day."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called it the "weirdest thing I've ever seen at a political convention in my entire life, and it will be the weirdest thing I've ever seen if I live to be 100." U.S. News's Susan Milligan says Eastwood's performance was "bizarre" and "somewhat offensive," and only served as a distraction:
If anything, Eastwood's way-too-long and verging-on-incoherent address took away from what voters should have seen during the primetime hour: the well-done biographical video of Romney.
Others say the Hollywood actor's appearance shows stars, who tend to come out for Democrats, are beginning to shift their weight behind Republican candidates.
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