Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin argues with something approximating good faith that Clint Eastwood's performance at the Republican National Convention last night has become a positive for Mitt Romney:
Rattled and bitter that they could not knock the Romney-Ryan ticket off-message, the Obama team and its allies in the blogosphere fixated on Clint Eastwood. Listen, I was there and it was darn weird. But at times it was funny and devastating in its dismissal of the president's excuses. And in clips and sound bites the day after the live performance, the oddness is diminished and the punch lines seem more biting. In simple terms, the movie icon encapsulated the message of the convention: If someone is doing a bad job, you have to fire him.
Eastwood apparently so annoyed the egomaniacal president that the leader of the Free World felt compelled to hit back via Twitter ("this seat is taken") at the movie star. Talk about losing your presidential aura. Empty chair = Obama is now a powerful association. Will the chair be in ads?
In this, as in so many other artificial kerfuffles, the media's feigned outrage only serves Romney's purpose. Now everyone is familiar with Eastwood's cracks, and the conversation has taken the place of any criticism of the two nominees' speeches.
Here's the logic, if you can follow it:
Eastwood goes on stage at the convention minutes before the Republican nominee accepts his nomination and holds a baffling "conversation" with the invisible president he imagines is sitting next to him, and this is "funny and devastating" and this doesn't reflect poorly on Romney whatsoever.
But an oblique reference to this bizarre spectacle from the president's campaign Twitter account means Obama lost his "presidential aura."