August 31 2012
Obama Response to Eastwood: Unforgivable?
The critics can review Clint Eastwood’s performance last night at the Republican convention all they want, but it provoked an unseemly—but revealing—pan from one quarter.
The Obama campaign tweeted (on the president’s own account) a picture of a chair with the president’s brass nameplate and the back of his head with the message that that "this seat is taken"--a jab at Eastwood’s high-concept routine that featured him addressing an empty chair in which he pretended the POTUS was sitting.
The Washington Times observes:
Hollywood may be bashing Clint Eastwood's performance at the GOP convention, but Rush Limbaugh said Friday the reason is that he touched a nerve with leftist celebrities — and with the president himself.
Pointing to the photo the Obama camp tweeted after midnight showing the back of the president's head above the office chair in the Oval Office, Mr. Limbaugh said that proves the White House was worried. And he wondered whether it was Mr. Obama himself.
Whether or not it was President Obama (unlikely), the response shows something that more and more people are beginning to notice about our political class: a sense of privilege. In saying that the chair is “occupied,” the tweeter seemed to forget that occupancy of that chair is always temporary. The president serves at the pleasure of—well—us, and we’re having an election right now to determine whom we’ll let sit in our chair for the next four years.
I had the same gut reaction to this put down of Eastwood that many people had to the Democrats’ repeatedly referring to “Ted Kennedy’s seat” when Republican Scott Brown was making his first race for the Senate.
This Obama campaign response may also have been unwise:
Referring all questions to this to Salvador Dali.
Just as ungenerous,Time magazine’s Michael Grunwald wrote:
There was one semi-disturbing moment, when Clint screamed “We own this country!” He got a standing ovation for that one, and it’s possible that the virtually all-white crowd was picking up a bit of Gran Torino you-know-what-I-mean-by-we. But I would chalk it up to incoherence rather than malice, because that was definitely the theme of his soliloquy.
I can’t improve on Ed Morrissey’s retort to this:
The “sane” world understood that as a reference to the taxpayers as opposed to the political class, actually, and the theme of Gran Torino wasn’t a paean to xenophobia, either. In fact, that’s nearly a direct antithesis of its message.
It may be that the attack on Eastwood by the Obama camp is going to make them look petty: Eastwood, after all, is an 82-year-old, much-beloved Hollywood star, whose “sin” is speaking at the GOP convention.