When a celebrity is promoted as a national leader after gaining celebrity status elsewhere, the gap between expectation and performance is accentuated. (Take Clint Eastwood, for example.) The take-away lesson from this is that celebrities need to do a lengthy form of apprenticeship as they make the transition from celebrity to politician.
The Republican convention showcased a party that has become a loose coalition of social conservatives and a membership base that does not reflect the national demographics. This was embodied in the "mystery" speaker, Hollywood Star Clint Eastwood. His rambling speech, with failed prescriptions and disrespect toward the President, will become a metaphor for this disjointed, grumbling party and its campaign.
The Democratic party's convention, which starts today in Charlotte, North Carolina, faces a small (or large) obstacle in that the recent Republican convention that wound up last Thursday, looms large. While Romney emerged from his convention as a hard-working, dedicated and decent man who has never failed at anything he's undertaken, Obama will have difficulty persuading even supporters that he works hard (few cabinet meetings in 2012, a record number of fundraisers, and plenty of golf).
I really don't care if Clint Eastwood was stoned, drunk or at 82, just plain senile. He was the only speaker over the three nights of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, who I couldn't stop watching. Here's my professional report card on how the different speakers used the 'prompter.
The highlight of the RNC was the surprise appearance of Clint Eastwood, which virtually every commentator knocked as embarrassing, disrespectful to President Obama, the meanderings of a senile old man. What rubbish! Eastwood was brilliant and devastatingly funny. I guess you had to be there, but delegates were rolling in the aisles -- and he made some good points, too.