Last night, Clint Eastwood was The Man With No Speech. The legendary actor and former mayor of Carmel, Calif., took the stage at the Republican National Convention shortly after 10 p.m. EST to warm the crowd up for Mitt Romney. What followed was a seemingly improvised, 12-minute address to an empty chair he pretended had an invisible Barack Obama.
Apparently prompted by an enthusiastic crowd member, Eastwood finished his freewheeling speech by leading the crowd in his classic Dirty Harry line: “Go ahead, make my day.” (Which was the obvious Eastwood quote, of course. But I have to confess: I was sort of hoping he’d say, “Right turn, Clyde.” Every Which Way But Loose just doesn’t get enough love in my book.)
Eastwood’s antics lit up Twitter, and launched a new meme. Someone immediately started an “Invisible Obama” account. And within minutes, the hashtag #eastwooding was trending on Twitter as people posted photos of themselves (or their Corgi) haranguing empty chairs. Even an enterprising Photoshopper got Grampa Simpson in on the act.
The Obama campaign also had fun with the speech’s surreality. When asked for comment, Politico said, the Obama campaign referred questions to Salvador Dali. And the campaign tweeted this photo with the caption, “This seat’s taken.”