Before we get into a rant about Clint Eastwood as a speaker at the Republican Convention last week, we must understand his past abilities in speaking. Clint has never been a good speaker, especially unscripted. Remembering past attempts, notably at various Hollywood award ceremonies, the actor/director has rambled similarly as he did at the convention. He certainly needed a teleprompter in a bad way, since off-the-cuff does not fit the actor well in a national forum. However, unintentional, his speech hijacked the entire convention. That is, more buzz created by Clint than any other speaker or policy point.
Convention Organizers Missed “Eastwooding” Impact
Why the Republican Leadership thought this was a good idea to promote Mitt Romney is beyond my thinking, while obviously backfiring, making for weird publicity about the actor, fifty-thousand Twitter followers for “Eastwooding”, rather good publicity about Mitt Romney.
Obama Tweet in Response to Clint, “This chair is taken”.
As an 82 year-old, Eastwood has seen his best days as a big screen super-star, and as a former Mayor of Carmel, California. He is woefully ill-informed about promoting the Republican Presidential Candidate, not to mention pulling in voters. Vetting a political speech broadcast to a national audience is politics 101; something Republican organizers seemed to have forgotten.
Internet Power, Good and Bad
Let’s not forget in 2008 how a protracted Internet campaign by Democratic Party strategists created an overwhelming buzz about President Obama helping him get elected. His unrelenting obsession with connecting with young voters over the Internet was the crowning achievement in, not only campaign donations, but spreading his message to vote for reform policies. As significant as this phenomenon was in 2008, the same relevance applies to “Eastwooding” in 2012, yet in a negative way.
More to the point, the power of broadband distributed over multiple devices fueled the “Eastwooding” rampage via Twitter. Most likely the #hashtag was created by young media reporters knowing the power of broadband and word semantics. It invigorates thought in media promotion, good, bad, or weird and spreads virally throughout spaces occupied by demographics of all kinds. It forms opinions and creates logical thought, about what is impactful and significant.
Voters Read Between Lines
Voters are smart enough to (read between the lines), dissecting through innuendo and veiled perceptions. Presidential candidates, this time around, will have to focus on the economy not just the rich and famous, or family values, though important. Policies must be concrete, not just rhetoric. Economically, the US needs change which positively affects the Middle Class of America. Create jobs and put people back to work. That will solve most of our economic woes. This is the proverbial key to the White House, not a #hashtag.
I continue to be a huge fan of Clint Eastwood as an actor/director, just not as a political speaker.
Image via Denver Post