Dirty Harry's Misfire

Maybe Clint Eastwood is a closet Obama backer who duped the GOP into thinking he’s supporting Romney.

How else to explain the bizarre, distracting, pace-breaking, mood-altering, prime-time act Eastwood put on at the Republican National Convention Thursday night?

At a minimum, his long-winded and often rambling routine involving an empty chair representing Obama skewed the timing of the evening and forced Romney’s acceptance speech past the 11 p.m. hour.

The 82-year old actor Academy Award-winning actor/director (whose later work, especially his 2008 “Gran Torino,” I happen to love) seemed simply out of it for most of his too-long time at the podium.

His “performance,” with hair askew and an ill-fitting suit jacket either showed his years or the results of a Jack Daniels warm-up. It's getting bad reviews. Mostly because it was so odd.

Equally odd, however, was the wholly enthusiastic audience reaction to anything and everything Eastwood said.

At one point, for example, talking to the empty chair (Obama), he referred to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and asked, “Why don’t you bring them home tomorrow morning?”

The audience roared its approval despite the fact that (a) former GOP nominee John McCain had the same audience cheering his position against a quick or date-certain withdrawal from Afghanistan and (b) Romney agrees with Obama’s timeline for withdrawal.

Eastwood also pretended Obama was speaking back to him, at least twice suggesting Obama was telling both he (Eastwood) and Romney to go f—k themselves.

“I can’t do that to myself,” Eastwood said.

It was a strange note in a convention focused on family values.

The Associate Press reports Romney aides were wincing backstage.

Eastwood, a former GOP mayor of Carmel, has long backed Republican candidates and presidents even though he supports gay marriage and is a staunch environmentalist.

But his big “surprise” appearance, intended to fire up the GOP faithful, turned out to be a misfire.