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Sep 2, 2012

The Eastwood speech

As expected, everybody seems to have an opinion on the speech By Clint Eastwood as the widely predicted ‘surprise guest’ at the Republican National Convention. These vary from ‘loved it’ through the entire gamut to ‘hated it’.

It was somewhat rambling as many describe it, but this suited it as a stand up comedy routine from an 82-year-old American icon, and was probably intentional. Clint is not generally known for long soliloquies, and isn’t the polished speaker Reagan was; on the other hand, he is able to deliver without a teleprompter, unlike the guy in the empty chair.

The crowd there seemed to enjoy it, although at such events, it doesn’t take much to get a standing ovation. Much of the US, other than the East and West Coast elites will also love it.

As for the tousled hair, it was part of the image. In a previous clip he appears in the background looking if not slick, then about the way you would expect him to look. He probably ran his hand through it backwards just prior to going on and checked it to make sure it looked that way. Mark Stein is probably correct here:

… I hugely enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s turn last night, but I’m not sure I agree that it was “unintentionally hilarious” and that “he forgot his lines, lost his way.” Clint is a brilliant actor, and a superb director of other actors (and I don’t just mean a quarter-century ago: In the last five years, he’s directed eight films).

He’s also, as Mr. Gavin observed, a terrific jazz improviser at the piano — and, in film and music documentaries, an extremely articulate interviewee. So I wouldn’t assume that the general tenor of his performance wasn’t exactly as he intended. The hair was a clue: No Hollywood icon goes out on stage like that unless he means to. …
It was probably a good break from the long list of politicians speaking there with its own offering of red meat politics in its own right. As an act, it was somewhat reminiscent of Carson Robinson’s or Walter Brennan’s “Life gets Teejus:”

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