The morning after a Clint Eastwood speech that threatened to overshadow her husband's acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination, Ann Romney thanked the "unique" Oscar winner for his support.
Asked on "CBS This Morning" whether Eastwood's speech was a mistake, she replied:
"We appreciated Clint’s support and he’s a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night. But we’re, again, you can never take away from the fact that this country is in trouble and people are looking for real leadership. I know that Mitt is the man for this moment and I hope most Americans will sense, too, what I sense and what I hear from so many women and so many men across this nation that they are ready for a change."
Eastwood certainly provided a change from the typical, obsessively vetted convention speech. Addressing an empty chair he said held Barack Obama, he held a one-sided argument with the president in which he imagined Obama telling him to shut up and graphically telling him and Romney what to do to themselves.
It was an exceedingly strange moment that quickly spawned the Twitter hashtag "Eastwooding" and an Invisible Obama account that amassed thousands of followers. While some enjoyed Eastwood's alternately deadpan and meandering performance, all but the most rigidly partisan agreed that it pulled attention from Romney on what should have been the candidate's big night.
Tom Brokaw tweeted: “Clint Eastwood became [a] huge star as a man of few words. As a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he had too many words (I say as a friend).”
Others simply linked to a newspaper article from a "Simpsons" episode that features a photo of Grampa Simpson and the headline, "Old Man Yells at Cloud." One oft-tweeted version had been doctored to read, "Old Man Yells at Chair."
The Romney campaign tried moments after the speech to suggest, unsuccessully, that the news media not make too big a deal of it.
“Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn’t work,” a Romney spokesman said in response to a question from MSNBC. “His ad-libbing was a break from the political speech-making, and the crowd enjoyed it.”