Sunday, September 2, 2012

Make My Day: Republicans Ecstatic at Convention Finale

Clint Eastwood talks to the empty chair at the RNC
I'm sick of reading all the left-leaning press' k'vetches about Clint Eastwood's surprise performance on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. I was there, and can vouch for the universally-delighted reception of the Harry Callahan-appreciative audience, and the pumped-up kicks generated by presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Eastwood was billed as the "mystery guest" for the RNC's last evening, though really the unidentified participant was the occupant of an empty chair placed next to Clint's podium, standing--er, sitting-- in for President Obama.  Eastwood then carried on a natural-sounding one-sided interview, in which Clint raised amused eyebrows by responding to the chair, "What's that? No, I couldn't do that to myself..."  Later in the talk he paused and asked, "What do you want me to tell Mitt Romney?" A beat. "No, I can't tell him that! I can't tell him to do that to himself!  You're absolutely crazy. You're getting as bad as Biden!"  The crowd went wild. He added, "Of course, we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party. Not much more than a grin with a body behind it." The cheers continued.

Eastwood is a Hollywood icon, worthy of respect for his varied and extensive resume, but lib reporters didn't hesitate to skewer him. He's 82 and seems slightly frail, but his mind and mouth are fully functional. He challenged listeners to consider Obama's failures, including Guantanamo's not-quite-closure, the lack of jobs, spilling the target date for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Nobody expected stand-up comedy in the Convention, much less from Clint Eastwood, but coming right before Marco Rubio's introduction of Romney, Eastwood's humor relaxed the mood.

Media reactions by like-minded liberal reporters for the major TV networks, watching together in their aerie, reinforced each other. Sure, the 12 million viewing at home on their computers and TVs could form their own opinions, but the rest of the public, and that's the bulk of the population, was handed an opinion it had no way to dispute. Needless to say, Colbert and Stewart had a field day, (and they're the main source of news to college students) but that's to be expected. Jay Leno chimed in, calling the appearance "bizarre." Rachel Maddow called it "the weirdest thing I've ever seen at a political convention," and "a political disaster" for Republicans. Roger Ebert called it "sad and pathetic." By far the most common term for the sketch was "rambling." That's a pejorative when applied to an elderly person, btw.
Romneys and Ryans (right) applaud Marco Rubio

After Eastwood, Marco Rubio wow'd the crowd with his punchy, powerful delivery, introducing Mitt Romney who worked his way shaking hands down a side aisle to the stage. An earlier series of videos and testimonials by people helped or touched by Romney primed delegates and friends, who received him with near-reverence, though his humility disarmed that quickly. Mitt was personal and intimate, direct and dynamic, and by the time balloons dropped from overhead nets and confetti wafted onto participants, the jubilant group was positive their man would beat his failed opponent.

Balloon drop after Mitt Romney's speech a the RNC
My husband and I watched from seats on the side of the Tampa Times Forum good enough to see the nearly spring-loaded jumping to their feet thrilled audience members repeated. The vast disconnect between what appeared in newspapers and on websites and the reality of sitting among people who cared enough to attend was frustrating, gaping and again showed media to be far, far from objective.

But we partisans had a great time, because we realized that Romney got it. The "it" is not just the plight of thwarted citizens prevented from ease or encouragement in business, home-buying, tuition-paying or child-rearing. "It" is that Romney knows how to communicate his superiority as a candidate; he knows the questions to ask, and the insecurities to tap. Romney has clearly been a super-achiever, turning around companies and the Olympics and even public opinion after his 2008 primary losses. And his tenacity, commitment and record combine to fuel enormous relief and optimism that he can turn around our nation, and turn it away from the grim and dour "we need more time; we need more of your money" we keep hearing from the White House.

(All the photos in this post are mine, taken from my seat in the Tampa Times Forum during the convention proceedings.)


  1. I've been enjoying your posts on the convention and your husband's on-air commentary. I'm really pumped about Romney/Ryan!

    I liked Clint Eastwood's act, but his excessive uh-ing was quite annoying. He seemed tired. But then again, he's 82 and it was probably past his bedtime! So I cut him some slack. His act was ingenious!

    This was an incredibly inspiring convention. So many great heartfelt speeches and lots of quotable quotes. I'm so glad it was heavy in representation of women and those of color. The Latino-focused part on the last night was so moving.

    The Republican message is and should always be "A rising tide raises all boats". Mitt and Paul Ryan understand that very well. I'm so looking forward to their leadership, Lord willing.

  2. The greenish background makes your posts hard to read.