Clint Eastwood has received almost-universally negative reviews for his empty chair routine at the Republican National Convention, but maybe that says more about the pundits than it does Eastwood.
How did Eastwood play among, say, people from the swing-state of Colorado? The delegates at the convention loved him; apparently, so did those listeners to Colorado radio who called into their favorite shows to praise his performance.
As Mollie Hemingway observed at Ricochet:
This morning on the local radio, the journalists kept talking about how awful the Clint Eastwood thing was, but what was hilarious was when they talked to normal people — the folks who called in or whom they were otherwise interviewing — the people all responded that they thought Eastwood was awesome. One even said he thought Eastwood had made a convincing argument (imagine the pain speechwriters experience when hearing a man on the street say stuff like that). Some were actually confused by the media question built on the premise that Eastwood had done something wrong.
What could account for the difference between the Colorado voters’ and the media reactions to Eastwood. Maybe the pundits’ distaste for Eastwood reflects how inside-the-beltway types are so different from the rest of the country. But, most of the voters live outside the beltway, so, really, their opinion matters a lot more when assessing the effect of a speech at the Republican National Convention.
If the pundits are wrong, then President Obama might be faced with the nightmare problem of an American icon and emissary from the Greatest Generation coming to tell Americans — seniors in Florida, young people, blue-collar voters everywhere — that the country under Obama’s leadership is headed in the wrong direction.
“We own America,” Eastwood felt compelled to remind the country. “When someone isn’t doing the job, we’ve got to let [him] go,” he also said, in an apparent message to all those disappointed Obama supporters from 2008.