Eastwood highlights week of Republican misteps

by Maayan Schechter – Asst. Campus Voice Editor – mschecht@unca.edu

As a presidential nominee, delegates and convention attendees converged in Tampa, Fla., for the 2012 Republican National Convention, they were greeted with the good, the awkward and the downright awful.

Although the convention was scheduled to begin Aug. 27, GOP organizers called a time-out to let Hurricane Isaac sweep past Tampa, cutting the convention to three days instead of the typical four. Republicans did not let a little rain and wind get in the way of their message for America; that President Obama was to blame for the failed economy. Pointing to a giant digital screen within the convention that showed the national debt, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus rang in the convention telling the audience attention must be paid “to the unprecedented fiscal recklessness of the Obama administration.”

The Republicans were able to duck from Hurricane Isaac and stride through Rep. Todd Akin’s ignorant rape comments the week before. During the Republican National Convention, there were good times, but there were also awkward moments that will be remembered as the Democratic National Convention convenes in Charlotte this week.

Republicans intelligently chose Tampa as the site of the convention, an area where Medicare and Social Security are hot button issues due to the amount of Baby Boomers and senior citizens living in Florida. Although humidity may have been an annoyance to the curly-haired delegates, Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his perfect mane gave a warm, heart-wrenching speech about the people who meant    most to him throughout the years.  Romney spoke about the declining economy, his family and his parents who were married more than 60 years, kudos. Romney promised delegates and the nation he was not only running to help your family, but to help you.

Republicans also won as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife, spoke with poise and assertion. However, while Ann Romney spoke about the power of love, Christie spoke about the power of respect and rarely spoke of Romney. Which is better? You be the judge.

The awkward moments for the Republicans came during Vice Presidential Paul Ryan’s speech when the media began “fact checking” and dissecting different statements, although not really crucial to hurting Ryan’s reputation. American-Cuban Florida Sen. Marco Rubio fumbled when he said we would remember this election as the moment “we chose more government instead of more freedom.”

Aside from the unique outfit choices of some convention attendees, and the ridiculous dance moves displayed, the most awkward moment of the convention is awarded to Oscar-winner and convention surprise speaker Clint Eastwood and his chair routine.

Eastwood, a long-time Republican, who is famous for the line, “Make my day,” from the Dirty Harry movies, pulled out an empty chair and began speaking to it as though President Obama was seated there.

Attendees sat and stared, and then the awkward “Is he senile?” stare. Eastwood asked the non-existent president many questions, such as  why he had not fulfilled promises.

President Obama was not there, so Eastwood did the only thing he could do; he answered for him. He continued to argue with the chair and have various side conversations.

One of the best lines came when Eastwood mentioned he does not believe lawyers should ever be president, obviously forgetting that Romney himself has a law degree. Seems like Eastwood should stick to cleaning his cars and complaining about disorderly neighbors rather than revving up a crowd.

In one of most unrefined moments of the convention,Yahoo! News Washington editor David Chalian was fired after being heard via an open microphone claiming “they”– the Republican party —  “are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

Chalian implied as Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina, the GOP would rather party than care about black people.

But possibly the worst and certainly the most racially intense moment came when Patricia Carroll, an African-American CNN camerawoman who was not filming at the time, was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by a couple of convention attendees.

The two attendees yelled “This is what we feed animals,” and were led out of the convention by security. This moment, while not a major part of the convention, stays with many as the Republican party notoriously lacks a major support from the African-American community.

As many Democrats may disagree with parts of the delegates’ speeches, even Romney’s, overall the Republican National Convention went off without a hitch.

The flubs, the dumb remarks, the awkward chair incident, although downright hilarious, may not so much have an effect on the GOP ticket. Republicans will walk away seeing and hearing the human side of Mitt Romney and especially Paul Ryan.

Now, onto the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Who knows, Romney’s hologram may appear as a convention surprise.

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