Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
The Romney campaign spent most of the convention, speaker after speaker, trying to convince attendees and independents in TV land that the GOP was open minded, accepting of diversity and that their beef against President Obama was merely a disagreement on optimal policy and best stewardship of the nation. Marco Rubio talked about acceptance of immigrants working hard. Ann Romney talked about the importance of women. Condi Rice spoke as a testament of the GOP acceptance of women and minorities.
Then Clint Eastwood came to the stage.
I’m sure the campaign wanted his star power to draw viewers to the screen just before Mitt Romney came up to speak for maximum exposure And he likely accomplished that. Unfortunately he came up and performed as the symbol of the GOP they didn’t want to project to young and more socially moderate voters. A grumpy old man. More than that, a grumpy, angry cantankerous old man dressing down and disrespecting the president of the United States as he tells a chair representing the commander-in-chief in an defiant voice to “shut up” and “we own this country.” I’m sure literally Clint Eastwood meant Republicans when he said “we,” but the context of an almost all-white convention audience and an old white guy wagging his finger at a black guy, what “we” will come off to some as “whites/real Americans.”
A possible context that the GOP audience knowingly or unknowingly applauded. A report the claims a Romney advisor says that even Mitt Romney found it funny.
But those watching saw Ann Romney face apparently broke out in horror as she realized the optics of the situation. Old cranky white guy, dressing down a black guy and leader of the country, telling him he doesn’t belong. On national television. Uh oh.
And though many of us are talking about Romney speech, it may be for nothing as Clint Eastwood’s stage performance is quickly becoming the takeaway of the convention.
I loved Grand Torino and “Get off my lawn!” But I don’t think most people were expecting to see that kind of delivery pointed at the president of the United States. Now it’s just another self-inflicted wound the Romney campaign has to heal. And hard to heal. It’s metastasized in to a meme. Which, for all the money they spent for a strong launch into the official campaign, turns GOP convention into great viral ad for the Obama campaign. And will certainly the talk of a lot of the Sunday yak shows. And because Clint Eastwood is a real celebrity, non political shows from E! to Entertainment Tonight will run with this as well.
And my next question. After so many self-inflicted debacles and now his one with Clint Eastwood, just what does it take to get fired from the Romney campaign team?
Maybe this is it. Because the New York Times in their article, After a Gunslinger Cuts Loose, Romney Aides Take Cover, is reporting a lot of ass covering is going on. Like this excerpt:
“Finger-pointing quickly ensued, suggesting real displeasure and even confusion over the handling of Mr. Eastwood’s performance, which was kept secret until the last minute and offered an off-key message on the night that Mr. Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination.”