Clint Eastwood has been nothing but relaxed about his much-ridiculed performance at the Republican National Convention, which makes you wonder if he cares all that much about politics at all. You can always admire him as an artist (or as a standup performer, as Bill Maher chose to do), but the fact of the matter is that no one remembers what Governor Mitt Romney said, only Eastwood and his empty chair. Last weekend, it even took on a life of its own in a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Bill Hader as Clint in high-waisted pants, preparing to take the chair on the road in the vein of Charlie Sheen’s standup tour after his Two and a Half Men breakdown. Clint’s appearance at the RNC might as well have been planned by President Obama’s reelection team… but in the clip above, the star tells Ellen DeGeneres that he couldn’t care less. The interview aired yesterday on NBC.
In just a few weeks, a presidential campaign that looked lackluster at best seems to have collapsed entirely. In the clip above, Jon Stewart is having fun with the recently leaked tape of Romney talking with fellow fatcats about the “47 %” of Americans who cling bitterly to the government and are a lost cause for him as a politician. The incident revealed the true mindset of American conservatives (which many of them openly agreed with, as demonstrated by Rush Limbaugh, Erick Erickson and others), but Romney was still hit hard by not only liberals but many on the right who found his comments poorly articulated and even wrong-headed. In an excellent Wall Street Journal blog entry yesterday, Peggy Noonan explains why Romney’s remarks are offensive even to conservatives… and why his campaign is in dire need of an intervention.
In the middle of it all, both campaigns released new ads. The first one is courtesy of the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA. The group has moved very fast, picking up on the “47 %” outrage and put together a very effective attack on Romney, painting him as an enemy of the middle class. The second ad comes from the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future and targets Wisconsin and Michigan, two states that are up for grabs for both campaigns. Boasting statistics that hit the Obama Administration hard, it’s also a good ad. But one has to ask, since there are so many women and minorities featured in it… where were they at the convention?
The only things Romney can hope for now is some unforeseen event that paints Obama in a very negative light and emphasizes the grievances that voters do have with the President, or an extraordinary performance in the debates. The latter seems unlikely. Mitt Romney needs to show that he cares more about the outcome of this election than Clint Eastwood does.