Obama Loves Eastwood

President Obama says he's a huge Clint Eastwood fan and wasn't offended by his performance at the RNC.

President Obama says he’s a huge Clint Eastwood fan and wasn’t offended by his performance at the RNC.

USA Today (“Obama, a ‘huge’ Clint Eastwood fan, not offended by skit“):

President Obama wants to make it clear that, in his own words, “I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan.”

“He is a great actor, and an even better director,” the president said in an interview with USA TODAY aboard Air Force One, on his way to campaign rallies in Iowa Saturday. “I think the last few movies that he’s made have been terrific.”

However, Obama seemed less eager to review Eastwood’s latest performance, on stage at the Republican National Convention Thursday. The 82-year-old Hollywood icon preceded Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney with a rambling 12-minute improvisation that included a rude “interview” with an empty chair purportedly occupied by an invisible Obama.

Was he offended?

“One thing about being president or running for president — if you’re easily offended, you should probably choose another profession.”

Given that it completely hijacked the last night of the his opponent’s convention, including his “speech of a lifetime,” I’m guessing Eastwood is in line for a Presidential Medal of Freedom if Obama’s re-elected.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Dennis Miller noted that “it’s not the color of Obama’s skln that bothers me, it’s the thinness.”

    The photo — and the accompanying Tweet — showed that Eastwood did get under Obama’s skin.

    And Eastwood’s performance was masterful. The “hearing half a conversation” is a classic bit of comedy — from Jerry Reed’s “Shriner’s Convention” to Bob Newhart’s classic routines to Jimmy Stewart’s performance in “Harvey.” And it was perfect in tone — genial, not angry.

    Eastwood’s always been a master of understatement. He’s literally spent decades crafting his dry, laconic persona in role after role after role.

    Didn’t care for Clint’s performance? So what? You weren’t the target audience anyway.




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  2. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The photo — and the accompanying Tweet — showed that Eastwood did get under Obama’s skin.

    No, it shows that the Obama campaign was mocking the GOP for the ridiculousness of the Eastwood nonsense.

    And Eastwood’s performance was masterful.

    It was ridiculous and, more importantly, it completely stepped all over the theme for the night, which was supposed to be about Mitt Romney. It also sucked up the news cycle the next day because everyone was talking about Clint Eastwood, not Mitt Romney. And, it ate up ten minutes of convention time that could have been used productively.

    Eastwood may be talented but he had absolutely no place in that convention




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  3. Stonetools says:

    President Obama says he is an Eastwood fan, that he was not offended by Eastwood’s speech, and that thin-skinned people shouldn’t run for President.
    The Republican response? Yes, he was offended, dammit, but shouldn’t be, and Obama IS thin skinned.
    Apparently this is another case of the President not being what the Republicans want him to be.




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  4. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones can’t discern between offense and defense. Probably the result of spending his life in moms basement and not playing sports and competitive games with the other children.

    That tweet with the chair picture is as close as Obama will ever get to the line from “An American President” where Michael Douglas says; “My name is Barrack Obama, and I am the President”.




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  5. C. Clavin says:

    How effective was Eastwood? Romney has no bounce coming out of the Convention. So yeah…pretty effective.




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  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Oh, Doug…

    Eastwood didn’t lose you. You were “lost” to the GOP ages ago. I’d wager you already have your “pox on both their houses” endorsement of Gary Johnson half-written.

    And there was no way in hell the Romney campaign was going to “win” the news cycle. That’s been lost even longer than you have.

    Eastwood’s pitch was to average folks, not people like you or the media. And all those endless repeats of his performance? Just making sure more and more of the true target audience sees it.

    Finally, remember — people’s first reactions are most often the most honest. And Obama’s? A snide, snarky photo of himself in The Presidential Chair, saying “this seat’s taken.” The President of the United States personally taking a swipe at an 82-year-old American icon. And a photo that’s launched a thousand memes — all mocking Obama.

    And mockery is something Obama doesn’t take well. It makes him make mistakes. The Tweet was a prime example.




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  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: That tweet with the chair picture is as close as Obama will ever get to the line from “An American President” where Michael Douglas says; “My name is Barrack Obama, and I am the President”.

    Did you forget the infamous “I won” exchange?




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  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stonetools: Let me correct that for you:

    President Obama, after his initial snarky Tweet and after his advisors have had a chance to clue him in to how unpresidential he looked, says he is an Eastwood fan, that he was not offended by Eastwood’s speech, and that thin-skinned people shouldn’t run for President.




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  9. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Indiana Jones can’t discern between offense and defense. Probably the result of spending his life in moms basement and not playing sports and competitive games with the other children.

    Oh, and bite my shiny metal ass, Cliffy.




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  10. It’s absolutely classic, isn’t it? Jenos is sure “invisible Obama” is offended. Of course as Jon Stewart points out, that’s an Obama that only the Republicans can see.




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  11. sam says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Eastwood’s pitch was to average folks, not people like you or the media. And all those endless repeats of his performance? Just making sure more and more of the true target audience sees it

    Yeah, well that “target” audience was gonna vote for Romney anyway. The problem, which seems to go right over your head, is that the folks Romney was trying to reach, those folks undecided, with his “Hey, I am too human” speech will remember, if they remember anything, Clint’s comedic assay and not Romney’s speech.

    Quick. You’re a partisan. Tell us which parts of Romney’s speech made a stronger impact on you than any part of Clint’s? Tell us true, now.

    And, “Oh, and bite my shiny metal ass, Cliffy.” Aping your candidate, huh?




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  12. Franklin says:

    This charge of “thin skin” that keeps coming up … does anybody have ONE example of it? Perhaps it just doesn’t mean the same thing to me, but I just don’t see Obama crying into his pillow every night.




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  13. mattb says:

    @Franklin:
    You need to realize that “thin skinned” is the new uppity.




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  14. Scott O says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: And it was perfect in tone — genial, not angry geriatric, non coherent.
    FIFY




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  15. anjin-san says:

    Obama has proven to be a very effective counterpuncher. Ask the bug splat on the bottom of his shoe that used to be Donald Trump. Too bad watching conservatives whine because he hits back his no entertainment value, they do so much of it.




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  16. MM says:

    @Franklin: It’s the new “heads I win, tails you lose” GOP Talking point. Obama responds at all, he’s thin skinned. He ignores it, he is aloof and out of touch.




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  17. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Dennis Miller noted that “it’s not the color of Obama’s skln that bothers me, it’s the thinness.”
    The photo — and the accompanying Tweet — showed that Eastwood did get under Obama’s skin.

    Actually it shows that Obama has a sense of humor. something that eludes both you and Dennis Miller.




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  18. mattb says:

    To be fair, @jenos accusations that Obama is thin skinned, arrogant, disrespectful have, most likely, far more to do with “D” after Obama’s name than the color of his skin.

    That @jenos is incapable of apparently realizing this — or does realize this and does not care — says far more about his self awareness and intellectual honesty than any of us can.




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  19. Kylopod says:

    This charge of “thin skin” that keeps coming up … does anybody have ONE example of it?

    My impression has long been that Obama is less thin-skinned than the average person. One of my favorite moments from the 2008 debates was when he addressed the incident at a Palin rally where someone was heard saying “kill him.” I was stunned at how calmly Obama described the incident–he had about the same tone of voice as if he were discussing tariff policy. It was certainly not the way I would have sounded if someone had threatened my life.

    None of this is to suggest that Obama never gets angry or emotional about his opponents. I’ve seen various examples of it described in books I’ve read about the 2008 campaign. For example, Jonathan Alter’s book The Promise says that Obama referred in private to “the f***ing Clintons” (does this forum allow curse words?) whom he believed were trying to smear him as an anti-Semite.

    Sometimes a politician’s public persona can be misleading. I had never thought of George W. Bush as thin-skinned (in fact, he seemed almost oblivious to what people said about him) until his remark that the worst point of his presidency was when Kanye West (!!!) accused him of not caring about black people.

    Of course it’s ridiculous to interpret Obama’s light mockery of Eastwood’s bad speech as evidence that he’s thin-skinned. But the speech itself had set up for that interpretation, like when Eastwood had Invisible Obama telling him to shut up. It was playing into the desires of those on the right who desperately want to see Obama in this light, and they will interpret his behavior according to this preconception no matter what he does. To believe the Kenyan Socialist is as aloof as he appears would be too much for them to take.




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  20. An Interested Party says:

    Poor Jenos…he’s probably just upset that reality doesn’t match his fantasies




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  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, I’ve noticed Obama’s sense of humor. It usually involves putting down someone else. He seems to need to reassert his sense of superiority by demeaning others.

    Not my personal favorite style of humor (I tend to switch between the absurd, the self-denigrating, and the grossly-exagggerated ego that is a subset of the self-denigrating), but if it appeals to you…

    Well, that says something quite unflattering about you.




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  22. jukeboxgrad says:

    party:

    Poor Jenos…he’s probably just upset that reality doesn’t match his fantasies…

    Excellent, thanks. I’m glad I clicked.




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  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Thank you for that video. That is one exceptionally talented impersonator.

    And isn’t it amusing that in the “brush off the shoulder” video, he was responding to attacks from Hillary Clinton?




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  24. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, I’ve noticed Obama’s sense of humor. It usually involves putting down someone else. He seems to need to reassert his sense of superiority by demeaning others.

    You really think that that picture was putting Eastwood down? An amazing interpretation.

    Also, I suppose you must be referring to the Press Club Dinner when Obama nailed Trump by saying now that the Birther thing was settled he (Trump) could get back to important things like, finding out who really killed Biggie and Tupac? I thought that was funny, and Trump richly deserved that jab.

    Other than that I can’t think of any humor where Obama was as mean-spirited as you say.

    As for your constant baseless denigration of Obama,” well, that says something quite unflattering about you.”




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  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    He seems to need to reassert his sense of superiority by demeaning others. Not my personal favorite style of humor

    Of course. That’s why you like to say “Circular douchebag.” You don’t intend it as “demeaning;” you must think it’s a compliment.

    By the way, I don’t really give a shit what you call me or anyone else. I’m just pointing out that you’re distorting reality, again.

    And isn’t it amusing that in the “brush off the shoulder” video, he was responding to attacks from Hillary Clinton?

    Only to someone like you who has no sense of humor. And the fact that he’s willing to hire and work with someone who attacked him is yet more proof that he is not ‘thin-skinned.’




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  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where for decades the president showed up and was roasted, then got to dish it back at the end? Where, this time, unbeknownst to anyone, this year the president and the Press Corps arranged for Trump to attend, where they all dumped on him and didn’t give him a chance to respond?

    Yeah, that absolutely proves that Obama doesn’t like to kick around people in no position to kick back.

    And also, note I said “usually.” Obama’s photo-Tweet wasn’t an attempt at humor, it was a middle finger.




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  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: For someone who doesn’t give a (feces) about what I call you, you’re obsessing on it in two separate threads.

    Have you thought about switching to decaf? Or having surgeons remove that tremendous stick up your hindquarters?




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  28. anjin-San says:

    Looks like Jenos is on another mountain dew and twinkles binge.




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  29. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    you’re obsessing on it

    No, just noticing.

    You’re using that magic GOP dictionary, where words mean whatever you want them to mean. It goes well with your magic GOP calculator, where you can do math and get any answer you want (link).




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  30. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    the Press Corps arranged for Trump to attend, where they all dumped on him and didn’t give him a chance to respond

    Another excellent example of you repeating baloney that was addressed a long time ago. And in your usual style, you ignored what was said, and you’re still ignoring it.

    Don’t you have any new material?




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  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-San: That, sir, is a despicable slander, and I demand satisfaction.

    My taste in junk food runs in other areas. I sneer at Mountain Dew and Twinkies. Far too plebian.




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  32. An Interested Party says:

    And isn’t it amusing that in the “brush off the shoulder” video, he was responding to attacks from Hillary Clinton?

    Indeed…she underestimated him, just like you do…by the way, your sympathy for Donald Trump (a douchebag, circular or otherwise, if ever there was one) is truly touching…




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  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where for decades the president showed up and was roasted, then got to dish it back at the end? Where, this time, unbeknownst to anyone, this year the president and the Press Corps arranged for Trump to attend, where they all dumped on him and didn’t give him a chance to respond?

    The comedian emcee dumped on Trump, and Obama made a very mild joke about Biggie and Tupac at the expense of Trump’s Birther Fetish. Well, Trump who is used to bullying people was somewhat surprised that anyone had the nerve to poke fun at him, Donald, the most important person in America.

    I fail to see where Obama is thin-skinned because he responded to Eastwood’s empty chair jibe, by posting the picture that he did. Seems in good humor to me. All I can conclude from your take on this is that you are apparently victimized or offended by nearly everything the president does.




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