Romney Campaign Didn't Vet Clint Eastwood, Shocked By His Wacky Speech

In a debrief of the Clint Eastwood wacky, rambling, mean-spirited speech to the entire Republican National Convention--and, umm, oh yeah, the entire American viewing public--this past Thursday night, the New York Times really illuminates the lack of forethought and disastrous results:

Mr. Eastwood’s rambling and off-color appearance just moments before the biggest speech of Mr. Romney’s life instantly became a Twitter and cable-news sensation, which drowned out much of the usual postconvention analysis that his campaign had hoped to bask in.

It also startled and unsettled Mr. Romney’s top advisers and prompted a blame game among them. “Not me,” an exasperated-looking senior adviser said when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In interviews, aides called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.”

But what did they expect, given the fact that they placed such implicit trust in the aging actor that they didn't fear his eccentricities rearing themselves?

And it suggested a slip-up inside the button-down, corporate-style headquarters of the Romney campaign in Boston.

Romney advisers so trusted Mr. Eastwood, 82, that unlike with other speakers, they said they did not conduct rehearsals or insist on a script or communicate guidelines for the style or format of his remarks. For Mr. Eastwood, the convention speech was a bit part in a career that has had its political moments. Angered by zoning laws he did not like, he served one two-year term as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. In 1988, George Bush briefly considered choosing him as his running mate; he picked Dan Quayle instead.

What a sterling example of a reliable and thoughtful campaign staff--just imagine what these folks could do with the reins of federal government.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at September 1, 2012, 8:11am

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