The truth is, I have traditionally not been a big fan of Eastwood. Most of his movies relied way too much on high levels of testosterone for me to be interested. But with age sometimes comes wisdom. Lately he's seemed to get in touch with his heart a bit. Some of my very favorite movies include ones like "Grand Torino" and "Million Dollar Baby" and "Invictus" - all of which relied on Eastwood's eye for important stories.
I'm tempted to try to analyze what goes on in the mind of someone who can bring those stories to life and do what he did last night. When I go there I see a man who - in his younger days - was captured by the "make my day" form of machoism. And then went a little deeper into the very real struggles of life. Last night seems like a venture into senility - which makes it a truly sad moment when played out on national TV.
Perhaps I'll move on to being able to see the humor in it all later. But watching a human being self-destruct in front of your eyes was painful to me.
The other angle on all this is the political ramifications for Romney/Ryan. In that arena, I agree (surprise, surprise!) with Steve Benen.
Political conventions occasionally produce memorable moments that endure. The Chicago riots in 1968, Cuomo's "Tale of Two Cities" speech in 1984, Al kissing Tipper in 2000, Obama's "audacity of hope" in 2004 -- these are memories that quickly entered the political history books, reminding us why conventions still matter.This is so true. All the work the Romney campaign put into presenting their candidate will soon be forgotten. What will remain in the annals of the history of conventions will be this Eastwood moment.
Last night, we saw another such moment, when Clint Eastwood decided to argue with an empty chair...
A month from now, no one will remember a word from Romney's speech, but a decade from now, we'll still be talking about the time a confused Clint Eastwood had a debate with an empty chair, and lost.
But its not only that. Conventions plan their schedules around the time that the networks pick up coverage. Only the truly dedicated political junkies watch anything else that goes on. Eastwood's big moment last nigh pre-empted the airing of the big Romney bio video that would have been otherwise shown as part of that network coverage. So instead of one last attempt at "humanizing" Romney, millions of Americans tuned in to see this debacle happen live in front of their cringing eyes.
I've talked before about this Romney/Ryan campaign being a clear example of the gang who couldn't shoot straight. We just got a whopper of an example of that last night.