Some conservative media figures are praising Clint Eastwood's performance from the final night of the Republican National Convention, in which the actor spoke to an empty chair representing President Obama. Eastwood rambled on at length, engaging in an awkward, one-person back and forth with the imaginary president that was meant to critique Obama's policy record.
Politico reported that "the Romney family seemed less than thrilled when the camera panned to them" during Eastwood's "disjointed moment." The Washington Post said Eastwood's performance "looked bizarre on the television screen." The New York Times spoke to Romney aides, who anonymously described the performance as "strange, " "weird," and "theater of the absurd."
Despite widespread confusion over the spectacle (which delayed the timing for Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech) and the criticism from within and without, some on the right liked it.
Rush Limbaugh said he "loved Eastwood" and thought the performance was "bold" and that "the left" was "dumping all over Eastwood" because "they can't hit Romney." He also claimed that Eastwood got "under Obama's skin."
Donald Trump tweeted that he "loved" watching Eastwood and that "he was terrific!"
Fox News contributor Monica Crowley said the presentation was "ingenious," because Eastwood represented "independent voters."
Breitbart.com's John Nolte said Eastwood's appearance was "glorious" and went on to gush:
Eastwood hit Obama in every sweet spot we've been waiting for him to get hit on: The incompetence; the lies; the empty, pretentious rhetoric; the inexperience; and that roaring blowhard of a moron Obama chose to be a heartbeat away.
Oh, and the empty chair. Other than an empty suit, there is no sharper metaphor.
Breitbart.com's William Bigelow attacked Eastwood's critics, explaining: "The only people who mock macho Americans are effete leftists who are uncomfortable with a strong America, and that won't play with most Americans, who are proud of being strong and independent."
UPDATE: Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin acknowledged that the speech was "darn weird" but found an upside to Eastwood as well, writing that it "was funny and devastating in its dismissal of the president's excuses" and proclaiming that "Thursday night was a critical point in the campaign and arguably the point at which Romney (with help from Eastwood) broke free of the media filter."