Friday, August 31, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Clint bombs in Tampa

Though The Leader has not admired Clint Eastwood since “Every Which Way But Loose,” the actor’s 1978 swan song in which he co-starred with Clyde the orangutan, we worry that his performance on Thursday at the Republican National Convention may further deplete his legacy as an actor.

Eastwood’s endorsement of Romney was bizarre. It included an awkward comedy routine where he argued with an imaginary President Obama in an empty chair. The routine would have been funny for about 15 seconds.

Though Dirty Harry’s was as insincere as most of the speeches at the event, many in the audience seemed a little uncomfortable with the 82-year-old’s criticism of the ongoing war in Afghanistan, which he said can’t be won because “we didn’t check with the Russians to see how they did there for 10 years.” The remark still drew several cheers.

He belted out the usual sound-bite Obama potshots, while struggling to remember his lines complimenting Romney. The speech included several long pauses.

But the spaghetti western star’s rambling introduction still stole the show. He even told the crowd to “save a little for Mitt.” The Wall Street titan was upstaged by the Hollywood hero.

Romney is hoping for a fate better than that other Eastwood co-star.

Clyde the orangutan died of a brain hemorrhage shortly after filming a sequel with Eastwood during which he was severely beaten by his trainers, as documented by primatologist Jane Goodall.

Will Morgan Freeman, another Eastwood co-star, get to do an improv at the Democratic convention? Perhaps it’s best to keep Hollywood out of these conventions. Not since Ronald Reagan has an old actor brought a convention to its feet, but Thursday night Dirty Harry missed badly.