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August 31, 2012

Eastwood's chair spurs an Internet sensation

Actor/director Clint Eastwood's unscripted appearance in support of Mitt Romney has touched off a number of internet memes -- from #eastwooding -- tweeting photos while berating a chair -- to @invisibleobama -- a spoof twitter account that has gained more followers than the Republican nominee and his running mate. (And a Washington Post post on Eastwood movies where he's not talking to a chair) 

The account -- which launched within seconds of Eastwood's rambling speech in which he addressed an empty chair as though Obama was sitting in it -- has reached nearly 50,000 followers. And much of the coverage of Romney's convention speech has centered around the Eastwood sensation, which at times bordered on the profane (and included Eastwood making a slicing motion across his neck when he suggested it was time for Obama to go.) The Obama campaign got a piece of the action, tweeting a picture of Obama in a chair with the caption, "This seat's taken."

Ann Romney got asked about it this morning. But the campaign is defending the appearance -- even as advisors duck for cover about whose idea it was.

"If you wake up tomorrow and all the headlines are, Clint Eastwood goes bunkers, that's not good for you, is it?" CNN's Piers Morgan asked Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho.

But Gitcho told Morgan the crowd "loved" Eastwood's talk and that he "ad libbed, but he was making a very serious point... You can't look at Clint Eastwood -- he's an American icon. You can't look at him through the same political lens that you would other politicians. He's Clint Eastwood."

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters he didn't have any reaction from Obama "to share with you."

Carney said he's a "huge fan and admirer "of Eastwood's work, but added: "I wasn’t quite sure what I was watching last night."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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