Clint Eastwood: A Ramblin’ Guy by Ben Fong-Torres
All right, all together now, with Neil Diamond in mind:
"I am," I said, to no one there And no one heard at all, not even the chair "I am," I cried. "I am," said I And I am lost, and I can't even say why Leavin' me lonely still
Well, Clint Eastwood must’ve felt pretty lost and lonely after his debacle of a speech at the Republican convention. Here he’d turned his back on the Democratic Party by attacking President Obama – or at least his imagination of Obama, represented by the now infamous empty chair on stage, with which Eastwood conducted a one-to-none conversation. But he’d done Mitt Romney and the GOP no favors by screwing up the convention’s rigid time line, looking slightly disheveled and rambling for 12 minutes when he’d been given five, delaying Romney’s big moment. And, in line with previous convention speakers, Eastwood issued statements that either were inaccurate or did no service to the anointed candidate.
Among his missteps: He chastised Obama for his timeline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. But Romney himself has endorsed that strategy. Eastwood wondered whether it was a good idea to have attorneys (like Obama, a Harvard Law School grad) to be in the White House.
Backstage, Romney probably wasn’t wondering, since he also holds a degree from Harvard Law School.
That’s how it went. Eastwood threw off the schedule, then grabbed most of the headlines, for all the wrong reasons, after a night that was meant to spotlight Romney’s acceptance of his party’s nomination for the presidency.
It was a sad fall from grace for a classy, talented actor and director; an American icon. The media had a field day, or two, making fun and puns out of the affair (“The Old Man and the Seat,” a headline read on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show).
I prefer to remember him as the charming guy Dianne and I met in Carmel, California, where he once served as mayor. This was in 1987,...