WASHINGTON, August 30, 2012 — The “mystery” is solved: Just in the nick of time, Clint Eastwood rides to the rescue. Before Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney makes his acceptance speech, the legendary director-actor Clint Eastwood will step on the convention stage around 10 p.m. Like the cavalry suddenly appearing on the hilltop, Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican Convention is guaranteed to save Romney’s evening by drawing a bigger audience to watch Romney than would normally tune in tonight.
Romney, who is not known to ignite crowds to the kind of ecstasy that Congressman and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan generated on Wednesday night, needs all the help he can get. So it was a bold move to snag one of Hollywood’s best-known Republicans for the last night of the convention. Who knows, maybe some of the Eastwood charisma will rub off, exciting the crowd in the hall and thrilling the folks at home.
After all, Eastwood did endorse Romney earlier this month at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho, becoming the highest profile celeb to come out for him. Eastwood told a story about meeting Romney when he was running for governor of Massachusetts and Eastwood was in the Bay State, filming “Mystic River”: “I said, ‘God, this guy, he’s too handsome to be governor, but he does look like he could be president.’ As the years have gone by, I began to think even more so about that.”
He added, “I think this country needs a boost. Now more than ever we need Gov. Romney. I’m going to be voting for him.”
Tonight Eastwood is back to give Romney a boost of his own, so expect to hear more of the same.
As for Romney, beaming at the side of Eastwood in Idaho, he summed up the moment perfectly: “He just made my day.”
And now this evening, Clint Eastwood can make Romney’s day again by singing his praises and once more giving his endorsement.
Romney’s staff has insisted, bragged actually, that Mitt Romney has written his own speech, which actually is not considered a good thing for candidates to do, since they are not known as wordsmiths. Romney needs his words to soar, meaning it would have been better to have hired a dynamite speech writer like a Peggy Noonan, who scripted President George H. W. Bush’s speeches, or Michael Gerson, who penned President George W. Bush’s speeches.
So after Eastwood departs the stage, will viewers hang around for the Romney speech, and if they do, will the excitement of an Eastwood appearance transfer to the candidate? Romney has 40 minutes to sell himself to a public that really still does not know him. Obviously he needed something more to grab voters’ attention and perhaps Eastwood just might do the trick.
Or as Eastwood himself might say: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky?”
Getting Eastwood to the convention must feel very lucky indeed.
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