Making Sense of Clint Eastwood’s RNC Speech

Clint EastwoodOn Thursday night, something… happened. Something that no one was quite sure what to think about. Upon the inception of the Republican National Convention, rumors began placing Clint Eastwood in the slot of the GOP’s surprise celebrity speaker. Eastwood had previously vocalized his support of Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy, as is among the most universally beloved and respected of the active conservative voices in Hollywood. So when he actually took to the stage to give his spiel, the results were surprising. And weird. Super weird.

Even if you didn’t see Eastwood’s speech, you’ve probably heard about it by now: he spent a good portion of the ten-minute diatribe talking to — no, talking with — an empty chair that he pretended was Barack Obama. I’m sure there are ways to phrase it that would make him seem a little less insane, but why bother?

Either way, the whole ordeal was undeniably loony. So much so that you’ve got to wonder whether or not he actually realized what was going on. After all, there are a few more feasible theories for what Clint might have thought he was doing at the time of the speech…


Theory: A nearsighted or hard-of-hearing Clint wandered into the RNC thinking he was actually entering the UCB, took the stage, and proceeded to engage in an improvisational game. As attendees had been shouting things about Obama all night, he took that for a character suggestion and went on to enact a scene opposite the President of the United States. He’s no Amy Poehler.


Theory: If you’ve ever been in therapy, or have at least seen this monumental clip from 30 Rock, then you’re familiar with the practice of “imagining” a family member, spouse, friend, coworker, or whomever you might be having a conflict with, sitting in the chair across from you while you open up about your problems with them. Maybe Eastwood’s psychologist recommended he try this out during a recent private session, but Clint forgot that the technique wan’t meant to be exhibited on live television.

Harvey Remake

Theory: Eastwood has already shown us that he is interested in remaking old movies — the director’s take on A Star Is Born has been developing for some time now. Perhaps Eastwood has his eyes on another cinematic classic: Harvey, which starred Jimmy Stewart as a man whose best friend was a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit. It could be that Eastwood’s daring new take on the subject replaces the gigantic Leporidae with our current POTUS. Edgy, Clint. Also, dial back the method acting.

He Just Hates Chairs

Theory: Maybe Eastwood really has no beef with Obama. Maybe he just had to disguise his rampant disgust for chairs as a political statement in order to be able to lambast his sworn inanimate enemy in a public forum. The RNC would welcome a beratement of Invisibama, but would they stand for an open, honest takedown of the vile four-legged decor that has warred with Clint for ten decades? It was a stool that did his beloved Hilary Swank in at the end of Million Dollar Baby

Garfield Minus Garfield

Theory: In 2008, Ireland’s own Dan Walsh pioneered the webcomic Garfield Minus Garfield, which grabbed from the archives of Jim Davis’ internationally successful comic strip Garfield, removed the titular cat and his dialogue, and left only the hapless Jon Arbuckle, talking (often about particularly bizarre things) to himself. Maybe Eastwood is a fan of Walsh’s series, and wanted to pay a living tribute?

Garfield Minus Garfield

[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb, Garfield Minus Garfield]


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