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The Good, The Bad & The Weird: Clint’s ‘Invisible Obama’ Speech Has Everyone Buzzing
August 31, 2012
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If you didn't watch Clint Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention last night, you missed what might have been the weirdest convention moment of all time.

Eastwood, if you haven't heard, had a long, bizarre, apparently ad-libbed conversation with an empty chair meant to represent President Barack Obama. Eastwood told the chair he failed to deliver on his promises, and it's time for a businessman like Mitt Romney to take power.

"Mr. President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election... I mean, what do you say to people? Do you just - you know - I know - people were wondering - you don't - handle that OK," Eastwood said.


At times, he even scolded the chair (Obama) - telling it to "shut up." At another point, he asked the chair "what do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. He can't do that to himself. You're absolutely crazy."

"You're getting as bad as Biden," he went on to say. "Of course, we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party. Just kind of a grin with a body behind it."

Check it out. The speech went on for nearly 12 minutes. The empty chair bit starts at 3:40.

Aside from the fact it was odd, Eastwood didn't necessarily do Romney or the Republicans any favours when it comes to political points. At one point, he criticized the war in Afghanistan, which of course started when George W. Bush was President.

He also criticized "gas-guzzlers," which goes against the typically oil-friendly policy of the Republicans. And he said he's never thought lawyers should be President. Trouble is, Romney has a law degree.

The Romney campaign was so concerned it sent out a statement distancing itself from the Eastwood speech during Romney's own speech.

It said "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. He rightly pointed out that 23 million Americans out of work or underemployed is a national disgrace and it's time for a change."

Actually, Eastwood was a bit off. As of July, just 12.8 million Americans were out of work.

Today, the Obama campaign shot back posting a photo on of the President sitting in the Oval Office, with his back to the camera and tweeting 'This seat's taken."


During Eastwood's speech, Twitter went crazy. Almost right away, someone created an @InvisibleObama account on Twitter. The first tweet? "Someone should tell Marco Rubio he's standing on my foot right now." The Florida senator followed Eastwood at the podium.

It has more than 40,000 followers and counting.

And it seems Eastwood's bit overshadowed Romney's actual acceptance speech, at least on Twitter. Here's a collection of some of the best tweets on Eastwood's performance.

Seth Myers, SNL - "That was so awesome. Biden has to go shirtless for DNC to top it."

Donald Trump - "I loved watching Clint Eastwood last night -- he was terrific!"

Roger Ebert, film critic - "Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic. He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him."

Blake Shelton, country music artist - "I. Love. Clint Eastwood."

DC Debbie - "Lay off of Clint Eastwood, why dontcha! Talkin to an empty chair was how Cheney ruled the White House."

Dylan Matthews, Washington Post - "Man, even Obama's getting in on #eastwooding"


Charlie Daniels, country music artist - "Clint Eastwood made my day."

Mia Farrow, actor - "Cringing"

Mike Murphy, former Romney adviser - "Note to file: Actors need a script."

Daryn Jones, host CBC's Over The Rainbow - "Clint Eastwood is now backstage arguing with a vending machine."

Richard Roeper, film critic - "Clint has now eclipsed the total word count of his last three films."

Formal Sweatpants - "Get off my lawn" #eastwooding


Michael Scherer, Time magazine White House correspondent - "Would it be inappropriate to ask for a blood-alcohol test?"

Delrayser - "Backstage somewhere, Clint Eastwood is yelling at people for almost sitting on Invisible Obama."

Alex Ogle - "Apparently the Simpsons foretold Clint Eastwood's RNC speech years ago." (Editors Note: the original Simpsons episode read "Old Man Yells At Cloud" (not chair). This image was adapted after Eastwood's speech and altered from 'The Simpsons' episode 282 "The Old Man and the Key" that aired ten years ago. Check out The New York Time's Dave Itzkoff's post: "D'Oh! Eastwood's Convention Speech Spawns Fake 'Simpsons' Meme")


Star Jones, TV host - "I can't believe I just watched ClintEastwood turn into somebody's DRUNK UNCLE HARRY on the stage of the GOP RNC. He humiliated himself."

Lis Smith, Obama campaign official - "Clint Eastwood, Ted Nugent, & Donald Trump...MittRomney's team sure knows how to pick 'em."

On the Republican convention floor, Eastwood was more of a hit.

A woman from New Jersey said "He was great. I thought it was fabulous. I'm a big fan of Clint Eastwood, and I think it was quite humorous, but it had a lot of truth to it.

A man from Virginia said "Loved him! Clint Eastwood is a hero. People loved him." Another man from Washington State said "It was a wonderful tone. It was so Clint Eastwood. It was so him. It was such a pleasure to see him."

A woman from Oklahoma said "I thought it was kinda odd... We were actually hoping for Tim Tebow."

George sat down with Clint Eastwood two seasons ago. They were both in their chairs. Check out that interview here.

Related stories on

Republican VP Nominee Paul Ryan Under Fire For Factual Errors In Big Speech


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