Mitt Romney had probably hoped that his surprise guest, Clint Eastwood, would make the day he was waiting for since forever, all the more better. Well that really didn’t happen. It was Dirty Harry himself who nearly hijacked the show when he delivered his rambling diatribe against President Barack Obama – addressed to an empty chair.
Clint Eastwood, the 82-year-old Hollywood icon brought his star power to the convention hall in Tampa, Fla to interact with an empty chair (aka @InvisibleObama) during his 10-minute talk as the audience looked on with a mix of approval and bemusement.
“So Mr. President, how do you handle promises you’ve made?” he said to the chair. He then asked the imaginary Obama why he didn’t close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “What do you mean shut up?” he said, talking to the empty chair.
Eastwood also jabbed Vice President Joe Biden, calling him the "intellect of the Democratic party." "He's just a grin with a body behind it," Eastwood said.
Even though Eastwood’s speech was widely panned among the political spectrum, by the end of the night Eastwood was the star on social media. Eastwood-related internet memes were buzzing across social media and Twitter users made tweets and uploaded pictures of empty chairs under the hashtag ‘Eastwooding’.
Here is how the social media reacted to the speech delivered by Mitt Romney’s surprise guest.
Dave Wiegel @daveweigel, political reporter from Slate tweeted a photo of an empty chair after Clint Eastwood spoke at the RNC.
Another Twitter user @delrayser posted a number of memes with hastag of #eastwooding following the speech. Some of these include:
This one shows the empty chair with the imaginary character. Hilarious.
Not just in the form of memes, Clint Eastwood’s speech was also criticized by Twitters users, including some prestigious names from Hollywood like the legendry Chicago film critic Roger Ebert. He tweeted:
Clint, my hero, is coming across as sad and pathetic. He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him.— Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) August 31, 2012
Former Romney adviser Mike Murphy also found the occasion appropriate to tweet:
Note to file: Actors need a script.— mike murphy (@murphymike) August 31, 2012
Adam Nagourney @ adamnagourney who covers US politics for New York Times tweeted:
Clint Eastwood's is riffing. (Shocked?) The only wordson the teleprompter is "Whip Team: Hand out the flags."— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) August 31, 2012
Jonathan Weisman @jonathanweisman also from the New York Times tweeted:
"Save a little for Mitt" Clint Eastwood to the cheering crowd.— Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) August 31, 2012
Well the fun and hilarity initiated by Eastwood’s speech did not end here for the audience on the internet. The entertainment quadrupled when ‘Invisible Obama’ Twitter account named @InvisibleObama garnered more than 33,000 followers early Friday.
Moreover, this ‘invisible Obama’ is quite well-aware about his rising popularity and one of its tweets clearly manifest that.
Quick. Turn on MSNBC. I'm going to be all over it right now. Well just my chair, unless u have invisible glasses. Or ur Clint Eastwood.— Invisible Obama (@InvisibleObama) August 31, 2012
It would have been unfair if President Barack Obama would have missed the action. But, like always he was proactive enough to respond to the situation by becoming a part of the Eastwooding hype when @BarackObama tweeted:
Clint Eastwood definitely lost the plot at Romney’s convention, but the invisible chair act by the iconic director/actor did prove to be immensely entertaining for the internet.
Sorry Clint, but you needed a script before acting this one out.