... the more brilliant what some lefty dismissively called his my drunk Uncle Harry performance looks.
Instapundit gathers many reflections and all of them strike me as right.
And one I had somehow failed to notice. The empty chair had a teleprompter! Brilliant! And it provides an interesting rationale to Eastwood's unscripted performance.
I love Jennifer Rubin noting:
Rattled and bitter that they could not knock the Romney-Ryan ticket off-message, the Obama team and its allies in the blogosphere fixated on Clint Eastwood. Listen, I was there and it was darn weird. But at times it was funny and devastating in its dismissal of the president’s excuses. And in clips and sound bites the day after the live performance, the oddness is diminished and the punch lines seem more biting. In simple terms, the movie icon encapsulated the message of the convention: If someone is doing a bad job, you have to fire him.
Eastwood apparently so annoyed the egomaniacal president that the leader of the Free World felt compelled to hit back via Twitter (“this seat is taken”) at the movie star. Talk about losing your presidential aura. Empty chair = Obama is now a powerful association. Will the chair be in ads?
In this, as in so many other artificial kerfuffles, the media’s feigned outrage only serves Romney’s purpose. Now everyone is familiar with Eastwood’s cracks, and the conversation has taken the place of any criticism of the two nominees’ speeches.
That last point is good; there is much to criticize in both Ryan's and Romney's speeches.
And count on Mark Steyn to provide an image that makes me giggle:
the hard lines packed more of a punch for being delivered in the midst of a Bob Newhart empty-chair shtick from the Dean Martin show circa 1968. Indeed, they were some of the hardest lines of the convention and may well prove the take-home (“We own this country . . . Politicians are employees of ours . . . And when somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go”), but they seemed more effective for appearing to emerge extemporaneously from the general shambles.
The curse of political operatives is that they make everything the same. A guy smoothly reading platitudinous codswallop while rotating his head from the left-hand teleprompter to the right-hand teleprompter like clockwork as if he’s at Centre Court watching the world’s slowest Wimbledon rally is a very reductive idea of “professionalism.” Even politicians you’re well disposed to come across as slick bores in that format. Which is by way of saying Clint is too sharp and too crafty not to have known what he was doing.
Oh, and next time ’round, he should sing.
'Clint is too sharp and crafty' - yes this reminds me of the twinkly in Rowdy Yates' eyes oh those so many years ago. Even in such a role, we was clearly an actor we would come to appreciate.
And go to Steyn's post and read his comment about the hair. Like the teleprompter, I missed that.
On a separate topic that Instapundit link also points to a fine post from neo-neocon, and I agree with her fundamental point (and I am embarrassed I knew none of this about Romney when he ran in 2008):
Whatever the reasons, the degree to which Romney has been a practitioner of personal kindness and good works is extraordinary. Whether he wins the election or not, it’s clear that Romney is a very unusual human being, with a combination of brains, hard-nosed business sense and competitiveness, and personal kindness that goes way beyond anything most people consider necessary or even possible. For a politician, this is so unusual as to be unique.
People keep saying about Romney, “the more I know of him the more I like him.” Not just on this blog, but in comments all over the internet. It strikes me that Obama is just the opposite—the more people know of him the more they dislike him.
Her final point hits me perfectly. At the end of the 2008 campaign I thought of Romney as a coddled child who inherited his wealth (I was oh so wrong about that!) and of Obama as moderately inspiring. Three and a half years later, we get to learn a lot more of the truth, and I find Obama not even likeable, and in fact pretty much not admirable in many ways. I think the Republicans made their case nicely in three days - this guy has been a total failure and 'our' guy is manifestly not simply more competent but decent beyond levels I even understand.