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Elections, Politics

The Genius of Clint Eastwood (Today Is Empty-Chair Day!)

Posted: September 3, 2012 at 4:57 am   /   by

There’s a big dispute out there in OpinionLand: Was Clint Eastwood’s shtick at the RNC funny and on-target, or was it just plain weird? In many cases, the answer is a simple political rorschach test: If you want Romney to win, it was hysterical, if you want Obama to win, it was weird.

That being said, it now appears as though—whether accidentally or intentionally—Eastwood’s performance may very well have been political genius because of it’s creation of an empty chair as a symbol for Barack Obama’s presidency.

The empty chair theme is suddenly in use across the Internet:

Today, Monday September 3rd, has been designated Empty Chair Day

Twitchy: Monday is Empty Chair Day!


Labor Day is cancelled due to a lack of jobs. Monday is now Empty Chair Day. Put an empty chair in your front yard to send a message to the empty suit in the White House! Then take a photo, and POST IT HERE! And SHARE this event with everyone you can.

And another one on Facebook:

 We join Michelle Malkin, Legal and others in offer a place to post your photos of “Eastwooding” on “Labor day.” Like “Tebowing” or “Planking,” post pics of you shaming an empty chair in any context and post it here for the world to see!

Memes aplenty


After a time, the dust is going to settle on Eastwood’s speech, and people will begin to forget about their opinions of it. But the Empty Chair theme may remain all the way through Election Day . . .

Back in 2004, John Kerry’s “I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it” did him serious damage. This year, it has been “You didn’t build that.” Obama’s didn’t build that slip was a big theme at the convention, and it will most likely continue damaging Obama until the election. Whether the Empty Chair will develop into a national theme with some staying power remains to be seen. If it does, then Eastwood’s skit will turn out to be politically brilliant, whether he intended it to be or not.

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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The Genius of Clint Eastwood (Today Is Empty-Chair Day!)