Clint Eastwood has given an interview and discussed his legendary appearance at the Republican Convention, where he spoke to an empty chair representing President Obama. Appearing in the Carmel Pine Cone — the local newspaper in the town where Eastwood once served as mayor — it’s an interesting read.
Among the highlights: he had three broad points to make during the appearance; his remarks weren’t vetted beforehand because he hadn’t decided what to say; and the decision to use the empty chair as part of the presentation was a last-minute inspiration that occurred when he saw the chair backstage and a stagehand asked him if he wanted to sit down. His remarks were intended to be impromptu and “a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen” and “have the same feelings as the average guy out there.” Eastwood says he knew his presentation was “very unorthodox,” but he didn’t realize he had provoked a firestorm of comment — pro and con — until a day later.
The Pine Cone interview leaves no doubt — if there was any — about his political views. He’s quoted as saying that “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” and that “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know.”
Eastwood said his presentation “was aiming for people in the middle.” It’s not entirely clear whether he hit that target, but one thing is certain — people still are talking about it and watching it. If I read the YouTube data correctly, the various videos of Eastwood’s performance have been watched more than 2 million times.