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(Smithsonian Magazine)   Clint has Company: The Long History of Americans Debating Empty Chairs   (blogs.smithsonianmag.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, Maggie Gallagher, Mickey Kaus, Dulles, Boris Yeltsin, testimonials, President Calvin Coolidge, RNC, Clint Eastwood  
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1854 clicks; posted to Politics » on 31 Aug 2012 at 12:23 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-31 12:24:35 PM  
Coincidentally, Clint was there for all of those examples
 
2012-08-31 12:27:14 PM  
There needs to be a tumblr, "Clint, Chair, Videogame", which photoshops Clint Eastwood and a chair into video game screenshots.
 
2012-08-31 12:32:11 PM  
All of the previous examples, if recreated today with the original people (even the dead ones), would still be more coherent than Clint's
 
2012-08-31 12:35:13 PM  
Interesting. But all of the previous examples seemed to portray an opponent that probably would not have accepted the challenge of being there to answer the charges in person.

If Clint Eastwood would have asked Obama to show up...I think Obama would have been there.
 
2012-08-31 12:36:06 PM  
MSNBC frequently debates bobbleheads.
 
2012-08-31 12:36:19 PM  
From a link in the article: Forget The Media Mockery: Convention Crowd Loved Eastwood

They only "loved" him because they didn't want to admit that he flopped. God forbid they show weakness. Rather than man up and admit that he was obviously escaped from an Alzheimer's ward. Instead they pull a Pee Wee Herman and say 'We meant to do that!'.
 
2012-08-31 12:38:46 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Interesting. But all of the previous examples seemed to portray an opponent that probably would not have accepted the challenge of being there to answer the charges in person.

If Clint Eastwood would have asked Obama to show up...I think Obama would have been there.


Obama would enjoy shutting down traffic in Tampa during the convention.
 
2012-08-31 12:43:37 PM  
From the comments:

Clint is the only one to have lost the debate.
 
2012-08-31 12:47:17 PM  

Lando Lincoln: If Clint Eastwood would have asked Obama to show up...I think Obama would have been there.


My feelings exactly. Although I imagine Obama would have taken it easy on the old man. I guess when democratic actors come out in favor of a candidate, they know nothing, but when a republican actor does it, they are the ultimate authority. Clint, you weren't that far from a babbling idiot last night, and it wasn't the ghost in the chair.
 
2012-08-31 12:51:37 PM  
I bet Mitt wishes he could debate imaginary chair Obama instead of real Obama in a few weeks.

Not enough popcorn in the world
 
2012-08-31 12:51:58 PM  
I just saw the "Inside the Actors Guild" guy talking about it. He had a few notes;

1. You need two people to do improv.

2. You have to give the antagonist the best lines, it make the protagonist look better to win against a powerful opponent.

3. You might not want to evoke Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man quite so literally.
 
2012-08-31 12:53:04 PM  
Although not and American,

p.twimg.com
 
2012-08-31 12:53:17 PM  
i1151.photobucket.com
Fine, I'll accept your rebuttal! What? Say that again and I'll kick your ass!
Oh - it's go time, motherf**ker!
 
2012-08-31 12:54:30 PM  
I still feel bad for Clint, it seemed like he wasn't firing on all cylinders to say the least.
 
2012-08-31 12:55:14 PM  
Could some please one do a Clint v Empty Chair a la Biden v. Palin.
 
2012-08-31 12:57:01 PM  

Mikey1969: From a link in the article: Forget The Media Mockery: Convention Crowd Loved Eastwood


Wow, he impressed the RNC crowd by saying Obama was bad. Maybe we need to rethink the whole thing you guys
 
2012-08-31 12:59:22 PM  
i.ytimg.com
What's that, Mr. President? No. No. In all the confusion I don't think he knew.
 
2012-08-31 12:59:46 PM  
Everyone is getting all excited about this now, but Clint Eastwood has been trying to warn us about the dangers of empty seats for years, most powerfully chronicled in his Oscar winning film "Million Dollar Baby".
 
2012-08-31 01:01:49 PM  
Wow, Clint looks like he's about to keel over dead at any moment. Aging sucks.
 
2012-08-31 01:03:56 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-08-31 01:04:20 PM  

ha-ha-guy: I still feel bad for Clint, it seemed like he wasn't firing on all cylinders to say the least.


I love the guy, but this just isn't the case. He went up there and ad-libbed about something he hasn't given much thought to. Most people of any age would have ended up with the same result, looking like a moron. This isn't a case of old age, its a case of ill preparation. If someone had bothered to write him a script he would have made the absolute most of it. I feel sorry for him embarrassing himself on a national stage, but he's still a top notch director and a top notch director, and I'm sure he's still got plenty to share with us through the medium of film.
 
2012-08-31 01:06:38 PM  
t.fod4.com
 
2012-08-31 01:07:16 PM  

salvador.hardin: but he's still a top notch director and a top notch director,


You don't say.
 
2012-08-31 01:10:16 PM  
Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.
 
2012-08-31 01:14:31 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


Ulgh. I like 'em older, but not Crypt Keeper older.
 
2012-08-31 01:14:42 PM  

r1chard3: [i.imgur.com image 400x300]


i.imgur.com
 
2012-08-31 01:14:51 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


You really think about sucking wieners a lot.
 
2012-08-31 01:15:14 PM  

Jekylman: [i.ytimg.com image 480x360]
What's that, Mr. President? No. No. In all the confusion I don't think he knew.


That is the master of the one-sided conversation. Newhart is funny as Hell. Ever heard his King Kong skit?
 
2012-08-31 01:16:06 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


TO THE WHAT IF MACHINE!

3.bp.blogspot.com

Nope. Sorry. Doesn't look like it.
 
2012-08-31 01:16:13 PM  

salvador.hardin: but he's still a top notch director and a top notch director


Does that mean that he is twice as top notch as anyone else?
 
2012-08-31 01:22:10 PM  

Lando Lincoln: gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to mouthulate his wiener.

TO THE WHAT IF MACHINE!

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 400x310]

Nope. Sorry. Doesn't look like it.


Oh please. Just admit you're biased against Republicans. You hear what you want to hear. Everybody does! It's human nature!

I am right God damn it! THIS IS INTERNET!

wiener!
wiener!
WIENER!
 
2012-08-31 01:24:49 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


Plus, I think sucking on his wiener would be like sucking on a stick of Slim Jim.
 
2012-08-31 01:25:34 PM  
Typical LIEburul media, they didn't show any of the unit 2 footage from the other angle...

www.thenorthwestreport.com
 
2012-08-31 01:38:18 PM  
i48.tinypic.com
 
2012-08-31 01:39:22 PM  
*goes to add Empty Chair to the Big Spiffy List of All the Bad Things Fartbama Is*
 
2012-08-31 01:45:03 PM  
You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with empty chairs and those who dig.
You dig.
 
2012-08-31 01:46:10 PM  

salvador.hardin: but he's still a top notch director and a top notch director,


You said "Top notch director" twice.
 
2012-08-31 01:50:16 PM  

HeartBurnKid: salvador.hardin: but he's still a top notch director and a top notch director,

You said "Top notch director" twice.


I need my pills!!!

/top notch actor
 
2012-08-31 01:52:51 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


Rambling on like a doddering old fool is rambling on like a doddering old fool, no matter where you are.
 
2012-08-31 01:58:49 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.


No, but thanks for the homophobia, that really brightens everyone's day.
 
2012-08-31 02:13:37 PM  

Kibbler: gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.

No, but thanks for the homophobia, that really brightens everyone's day.


What? It's a figure of speech. Calm down. Everybody likes blowjobs, for god's sake. I'm not going to put down
anyone, of either sex, that likes giving them. FloydA's comment was homophobia.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that the same speech given by John Stewart, say,
people would be rolling in the aisles. It's all about perspective. It seemed to me like Clint actually said a few things that went over the crowd's heads - he was almost insulting them, but they were cheering anyway, the morons.

Now where's your outrage about ageism? There's a lot of that in here.
 
2012-08-31 02:14:02 PM  
Two whole examples is hardly "long." Though the first guy seems to have had a point to make and was able to express said point in a clear manner.

What was Clint's point, again?
 
2012-08-31 02:18:17 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Kibbler: gunther_bumpass: Oh good lord, if he did the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, you dumbasses would be lining up to suck his wiener.

No, but thanks for the homophobia, that really brightens everyone's day.

What? It's a figure of speech. Calm down. Everybody likes blowjobs, for god's sake. I'm not going to put down
anyone, of either sex, that likes giving them. FloydA's comment was homophobia.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that the same speech given by John Stewart, say,
people would be rolling in the aisles. It's all about perspective. It seemed to me like Clint actually said a few things that went over the crowd's heads - he was almost insulting them, but they were cheering anyway, the morons.

Now where's your outrage about ageism? There's a lot of that in here.


Jon Stewart would have made some sort of sense, silly.
 
2012-08-31 02:25:23 PM  
Actually, I like the use of an empty chair as a metaphor, especially considering the "empty suit" that conservatives always push on Obama (well, except that argument doesn't really hold water is the OTHER argument that they constantly push about how Obama has destroyed the country with all of his wacky regulations and laws he's personally passed, but I digress). Really, the democrats could do the same with Romney's proposals: "I've read Romney's tax returns, and I've got them RIGHT here (holding up an invisible folder). Also, I've got Romney's plans for the economy RIGHT here (holding up another invisible folder). I think that the whole symbolism of "invisibleness' or "not being here" works pretty well, especially when you are playing in front of a packed house of partisans.

The problem is that the whole routine, when wrapped around Eastwood's babbling ad-libbing, came off as unsettling at best, or sad at worst. It reminded me of my grandfather starting to waste away of alzheimers, and of when they brought out Muhammed Ali for the Olympics. Sad, in a "wow, that guy used to be a hero to so many people, a vibrant, coherent human being, and now look at how a disease has destroyed him" way.

If it was handled with a bit of rehearsal, or maybe with a comedian who knows a thing or two about improv and on-the-fly timing, it could've been a fairly entertaining bit during an otherwise dull convention.

But instead it looks like what happened was this: "Hey, Clint, you know that holo-Reagan thing we were going to do. Yeah, well, we don't want that to overshadow Romney's speech. So we canned it. But now we've got 15 minutes of prime time to air. I know you just came here to do a quick introduction, but do you think you can come up with something to fill that time?"

Which, of course, the irony of this situation is that if it's true, instead of holo-Reagan being the centerpiece of the newscycle over Romney, we now have Eastwood's dundering being the centerpiece of the newscycle. Except that with holo-Reagan, it would've presented the Republicans as somewhat space-aged and technology savvy. Instead the republicans, again, present themselves as "old men yelling at clouds."

So, yeah, go Team Romney! on another fine work of political shenanigans!
 
2012-08-31 02:25:35 PM  
http://eastwoodvs.tumblr.com/
 
2012-08-31 02:27:56 PM  
talkingpointsmemo.com

Never debated a chair, but debated a dining room table.
 
2012-08-31 02:28:55 PM  

snowshovel: If it was handled with a bit of rehearsal, or maybe with a comedian who knows a thing or two about improv and on-the-fly timing, it could've been a fairly entertaining bit during an otherwise dull convention.


Something like yelling, "I demand a cure for pancakes!" at the end?
 
2012-08-31 02:29:18 PM  

snowshovel: So, yeah, go Team Romney! on another fine work of political shenanigans!



Exactly. Focus on Eastwood, not on Romney. If I wasn't a registered Democrat, I'd be tempted to call us morons.
 
2012-08-31 03:08:38 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org 

It's better when the chair isn't empty...
 
2012-08-31 03:48:33 PM  

gunther_bumpass: John Stewart



Yep. Trolling.
 
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