Jim Terry
September 2, 2012
He made my day
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By Jim Terry

Clint Eastwood was a surprise speaker at the Republican National convention Thursday night. What's more, Clint's talk was a surprise as he interviewed President Obama, represented by an empty Chair.

The liberal media immediately went nuts. Critic Roger Ebert called Eastwood's appearance "sad and pathetic." NBC's Tom Brokaw accused Clint of "using too many words" for a man whose entire screen career has been symbolized by verbal frugality.

Could the performance have been smoother? Yes. Jon Voight, who was at the convention, would probably have done a smoother job. But, then, it wouldn't have had the impact it had coming from Dirty Harry.

What many of us forget is those long flowing eloquent monologs we see on screen performed by Hollywood stars are not their own words. Someone else wrote those words. All the actors do is memorize those words and put some emotion to them. Watch them on those late night television shows when they appear to plug their latest movie. Most are not brilliant conversationalists. The best example of how actors speak sans script is the clip of Alec Baldwin attempting to be a radio talk host (http://www.hannity.com/article/alec-baldwin-s-failed-attempt-atradio/15080). It is sad and pathetic.

Debating or interviewing an empty chair is not a new device, and it is not unique to politics. Earlier this year, Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC liberal, interviewed an empty chair which represented George Zimmerman's lawyer who was scheduled to be on O'Donnell's show, but walked out before the show went on the air.

A couple of years ago, famed atheist Richard Dawkins refused to debate William Lane Craig at Oxford. Craig refuted Dawkins' theories to Dawkins' empty chair.

In his book, Two Party Texas: The John Tower Era 1961-1984, John Knaggs relates the story of the 1970 Republican candidate for governor of Texas, Paul Eggers, who couldn't get incumbent Governor Preston Smith to debate him. Smith, a dull, colorless, mundane speaker was even prohibited from making his own television ads because the Democratic Party handlers saw how poorly he came across in public. They hired a golden throat announcer to make all Smith's commercials.

When Eggers was asked about Smith's reluctance to debate, Eggers reportedly said, "He has an announcer who does all his taking for him. I'll debate his announcer."

While Eastwood's delivery was not the smooth rhetoric most people would hope from a big Hollywood star, his points were not lost:
    That more than twenty million Americans are without work and the current administration's inaction is a national disgrace.

    That candidate Obama's promises have been hollow.

    That WE, not politicians, own this country and they are our employees, and when they do not do their jobs we have to let them go.
Eastwood's appearance at the convention will be debated for a while. Liberals will denounce him, his message and method and tell us what a mistake the Republicans made in putting him on stage because they can't stand anyone speaking ill of their candidate.

But, no one can mistake the subtlety of the empty chair. After all, who best can occupy an empty chair than President Obama who is an empty suit.

© Jim Terry

 

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Jim Terry

Jim Terry has worked in Republican grassroots politics for 40 years. Terry was an administrative assistant to a Republican elected official in Dallas for twenty years. In 1996, he ran for and was elected to Justice Court 2 in Dallas County where he served eight years. Contact Jim at tr4guy62@yahoo.com

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