Mitt Romney has never been known as a brilliant orator. Hence, expectations for his acceptance speech at last night’s finale of the Republican Convention were not very high to begin with, but he cleared that relatively low bar — despite one huge falsehood (which I’ll address in a subsequent post later this morning).
The biggest problem with Romney’s speech, in the overall scheme of the doings, is that it was all but upstaged by actor Clint Eastwood’s display of what might charitably be called “a senior moment.”
Eastwood’s act was so bizarre and incoherent that political fact-checkers aren’t even bothering to analyze it for veracity.
THIS REACTION to Eastwood’s performance was fairly typical among political pundits:
Clint Eastwood’s rambling, head-scratching endorsement of Mitt Romney on Thursday set off immediate questions and finger-pointing among Romney supporters: Who booked Mr. Eastwood? Did anyone have an idea of what he was going to say? Did anyone read his remarks before they were broadcast?
The actor, in one of the more unusual moments in Republican convention history, offered a speech in which he pretended to have an off-color conversation with an imaginary President Obama sitting by his side in an empty chair.
Eastwood seemed to thrill the audience with his celebrity and swagger, drawing cheers and chortles — even if some of the laughter seemed of the nervous variety, of the sort one gives an elderly uncle at the Thanksgiving table in the middle of a story that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
The [Eastwood] speech could certainly prove a distraction from Romney’s speech as clips from the convention are replayed over and over again on the morning TV news. During and well after the actor’s speech Thursday night, reporters were busy tweeting out animated reactions to Eastwood’s performance.