Andrea's column: Stick to the movies, ClintThere was a time, years ago, when many people had a sign in their work area that said, “PLAN AHEAD.”
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
There was a time, years ago, when many people had a sign in their work area that said, “PLAN AHEAD.” It had been written to show what happens when you don’t. The person who came up with the idea purposely didn’t leave enough room for the “D” which then had to be written on the next line. Funny, right?
That idea brings me to the political conventions of the past two weeks. The speeches got me thinking of what it would take to put together a talk that would have people on their feet cheering. Or wiping tears off their cheeks. How much prior preparation did the speakers have to do?
Actor and director Clint Eastwood says he did no prep work for his appearance at the Republican convention. By now, everyone in America knows Eastwood used his time onstage to talk to an empty chair. He pretended President Obama was sitting in it.
Not only did the 82-year-old Eastwood pretend the president told him to “shut up” but he intimated the unseen head of our country was saying crass and vulgar things. “What is he thinking?” I asked my husband a few times during the painful and embarrassing bit. “He’s not,” my hubby continuously answered.
A few days later, a guest on one of the Sunday morning political shows said Eastwood missed an opportunity. The man, whose name I can not remember, said Eastwood could have likened the chair to the one left empty at the dinner table because a soldier is serving his country overseas. Or because a single mother is working two jobs to support her family. Or a grandparent with Alzheimer’s disease is in a nursing home.
Ah! But all would have required him to plan ahead. Which he says he did not do. Instead, the Academy Award winner says that when he walked onstage, “There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down. It gave me the idea.” Eastwood says he thought, “I'll just put the stool out there and I'll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn't keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”
While most speakers at the Tampa convention went through a rigorous vetting process, Eastwood was exempted. “They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can't do that with me, because I don't know what I'm going to say,” Eastwood said.
The day after, newspapers, television, and the Internet were abuzz about Eastwood’s performance. As my mother would have said, he was now a “laughingstock.” He received more attention than the candidate he was supposed to tout.
I have always liked Clint Eastwood. He may be a Republican, but he makes good movies. They wouldn’t be as good, though, if he put as little forethought into them as he did the speech at his party’s convention.
C’mon, Clint. If you get a next time, please PLAN AHEAD. And bring a comb, will you?