September 1, 2012

Intended or not, the Clint Eastwood speech was tactically brilliant

Over at the Blog de King Shamus, the Clint Eastwood speech "fallout" gets put to bed:
Everybody’s second-favorite community organizer Saul Alinksy said that ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It works so well because it rallies your troops. Even better, when a well-played joke lands squarely on target, it causes problems for the other side. Look at how the Stalinists were so discombobulated by Clint’s mockery of their Saviour. When they went into Panic Alert Obama Defense Level Five, they spent a lot of time addressing Clint’s speech rather than dealing with Mitt Romney.
It's a great point.  You know that the Doomocrats will go hard after Romney and Ryan at their convention this week, but by focusing all of their panic on Clint Eastwood's speech right now, they ignore the content of the Romney speech and thereby stall their attacks on Romney for a little while. The whole Democratic approach to this election was to demonize Romney (and Ryan).  Demonizing Clint Eastwood doesn't help them one iota.  Not one.  No one will be voting for Clint Eastwood in 2012.  No one will be voting against him or against Romney based on Eastwood either.

What this does, is allows Romney's convention bounce to gain some traction and avoids the risk of the liberal attacks derailing the bounce.  The Democrats by positioning their convention right after the Republicans clearly want to suck the strength out of the natural convention bounce for the Republicans.  The Clint Eastwood speech whether intended or not, swayed the focus of liberal attacks to his supposedly oddball speech and Mitt Romney gets a few days of a free ride.

The other tactical brilliance of Eastwood's speech is what it did for Republicans.  A favorite Obama trick is to supposedly remain above the fray while surrogates - 'not connected with the president' mind you - serve as attack dogs.  Eastwood got in some zingers about the president in the middle of a convention that was focused on the approach that it's okay to change your mind about Obama.  Yes, he's a nice guy (ha!) but he's not a good president.  It's time for a change, because the country deserves and needs better.  That message can't be inter-mingled with attacks.  Clint Eastwood says those things and while he's a Republican supporter, he's arms length from team Romney.

Now when Democrats go into their convention armed for Bain, they are going to play to their playbook and attack Romney and Ryan.  They'll look petty while Romney gets to stay above the partisan fray and focus on economic policy and jobs.

In retrospect, Eastwood's speech may have done a lot more good for the Republican cause than at first blush.  That makes my day.

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