Clint Eastwood’s spectacle at the RNC seemed a little too perfectly bizarre to be unintentional. Could the Fistful of Dollars and Dirty Harry star, who has identified with varied political positions during his career, have been channeling Antony during his memorable (and, it seems fair to say, poorly-vetted) appearance — maybe even intentionally trying to cast a shadow Romney’s moment in the sun?
A few moments seemed particularly double-edged, like when Eastwood leaned forward over the podium and growled conspiratorially that “we own this country” to thunderous applause from the affluent audience.
Yes, he talked to a chair, but he also characterized Romney as “quote unquote, a stellar businessman,” and criticized the war in Afghanistan and the failure to close the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay — which, while compelling, are usually progressive complaints about the Obama administration, since both are Bush-era relics.
And, intentionally or not, he certainly touched a nerve when he admonished the convention not to vote for someone they didn’t particularly like.
“What I’m saying is we don’t have to be mental masochists and vote for somebody that we don’t even really want in office, just because they seem to be nice guys, or maybe not such nice guys, if you look at some of the recent ads going out there,” he said.
As the crowd’s enthusiasm dimmed — with Ryan looking increasingly non-plussed, some audience members withholding applause, and at least one attendee visibly checking her phone on camera — another of Eastwood’s snipes seemed like it could have been aimed either at the invisible Obama or at an offstage organizer gesturing at him to wrap it up.
“I’m not gonna shut up,” he rasped. “It’s my turn.”