Clint Eastwood's rousing, perplexing, semi-coherent speech at the Republican National Convention last week was the political talk of the town, eclipsing Mitt Romney's own speech as well as inspiring a new internet meme (Eastwooding). Now, Eastwood has finally revealed the inspiration for his kooky performance art: “There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood told his local paper, The Pine Cone. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there, and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”
Sure, blame it on the stagehand: “The guy said, ‘You mean you want it at the podium?’ and I said, ‘No, just put it right there next to it.’” And that stagehand was the only person who had any clue what Eastwood was planning: “They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Eastwood recalled. Yes, Eastwood is very proud of the fact that he never prepares speeches beforehand (even when he was mayor of Carmel), even if it means he might lapse into a vaudeville routine in front of millions of viewers: “It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”
While pundits (and many Republicans) were critical of his invisible chair routine, Eastwood thinks his speech was a great success: “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood said. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.” Because at the end of the day, the most important thing is that Eastwood really, really hates Obama, and who cares if he ruffles a few leftist feathers with his message: “A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama.”
Oh, and in case you weren't sure, Eastwood definitely is not aware of the Internet, or the hullabaloo his speech caused: after his speech, he saw Romney and Paul Ryan backstage (“They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing”), went to sleep at his hotel, and left for the airport the next morning. “I read the Tampa newspaper, and every article said something negative about the convention, but there wasn’t much about me,” Eastwood said.