My friends who watched Clint Eastwood’s speech last night revealed in its irreverence and thought it was great. Some of my favorite pundits, however, wondered about the exercise, particularly scheduling it at a”vital” hour of the convention.
Sara Murray of the Wall Street Journal reports that Eastwood’s (use of the) chair surprised the Romney camp: “Mitt Romney’s campaign staff did not realize that Clint Eastwoodwould be using that chair — at least not for something other than sitting.” But, I wonder.
Perhaps, we would we wise to take heed of how the Romney campaign reacted:
Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work. His ad-libbing was a break from all the political speeches, and the crowd enjoyed it.
The crowd (and those “normal voters”) may have loved it — as did a number of my conservative friends who do not follow politics all that closely, but the Obama people really hated it. Last night Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz singled out the “sketch” for scorn in lieu of commenting on Romney’s strong speech.
And it really seems to have gotten under Obama’s skin. “This“, quipped law professor William A. Jacobson “Is Not The Tweet Of A Confident Man of a message the president sent showing himself in a cabinet meeting (via Instapundit).
And maybe that was the point, to, as Jacobson put it, get “under Obama’s skin.” Obama does not do well on defense, particularly when he feels others are attempting to mock — or tarnish — his image. Maybe Republicans were trying to provoke a reaction that would make the Democrat look petty.
Or maybe they were just trying to draw the media fire on Eastwood, a man not running for office, to limit the Democrat’s attacks of Romney. Today, I did see more liberal venom (on Facebook and political sites) directed against the movie star than against the presidential candidate.
Maybe Republicans figured fewer attacks, even ones from partisans, on the day after the convention would help burnish Romney’s image.
Jus a thought.
UPDATE: My view seems similar to that of Michael Walsh who observed, “If there’s one thing the Left can’t stand, it’s mockery, and Clint gave it to them with both barrels.” Read the whole thing.