Inside the Beltway: Eastwood’s motto-matic

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It’s already a cultural force. Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” moment at the Republican National Convention drew Democratic derision but inspired enthusiastic Republicans. It’s all a matter of “Eastwooding.” The vacant chair symbolizes the vacuous state of the White House, amplified by social media the very instant Mr. Eastwood stood on the stage and addressed “imaginary Obama.” Among nimble new T-shirt mottos at online purveyor CafePress.com: “Repeal ObamaChair,” “Empty chair = Empty Suit,” “CLINT/CHAIR 2012,” “I Stand with the Chair,” and “Mitt, go ahead and make my day, Nov. 6, 2012”.

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle,” Mr. Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone, a small California newspaper.

Cafe Press, meanwhile, tracks the motto trends, and what they imply for the election. See samples here: http://shop.cafepress.com/chair-and-eastwood

11 YEARS

“More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed. But as we mark the anniversary of September 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a nation, our faith in one another, and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness.” (From President Obama’s proclamation recognizing Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance).

Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will observe a moment of silence on the White House lawn to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, attend a ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial and later visit with wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

RYAN CODE

It’s fitting for a man who is the cover model on the next issue of “Deer and Deer Hunting” magazine. Word has sprung that Rep. Paul Ryan has chosen “Bowhunter” as his Secret Service code name, inspired by his favorite he-man hobby. Oh, but there appears to be much cachet here. The news was first leaked by a Republican source to style-conscious GQ magazine, which also recently revealed “Javelin” as Mitt Romney’s code name.

“A Secret Service spokesman declined to comment, although the service has said in the past that the publication of code names does not risk the security of its protectees because all radio communication is now encrypted,” says virtuous GQ correspondent Marc Ambinder.

EXPLETIVE WATCH

Maybe Democrats are just trying to be hip and connected. Yes. Maybe. They continue to use coarse language for President Obama’s re-election campaign. In recent days, Obama for America CEO Anne Marie Habershaw, Democratic National Committee political director Jeffrey Lerner and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina have dotted donation pitches with terms like “damn cool” “crap” and “hell no.”

Looks like it’s Mr. Messina’s turn again. His latest dance with the d-word:

“I’ll be damned if the Romney campaign, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and a handful of anonymous billionaires ‘carpet bomb’ the president and end up deciding this election for millions of Americans in the last 57 days,” Mr. Messina advised loyal Democrats in an email Monday, then asked for a $5 donation.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Obamalaise.” It’s a noun, meaning President Obama’s “four-year record of failure and malaise,” coined by Jim Martin, chairman of 60 Plus, a conservative group dedicated to senior issues.

“The president wants four more years, but what did he do with the last four he was given? He created the worst economic malaise of the last 80 years, Obamalaise,” Mr. Martin explains. “At any given microphone, President Obama makes more empty promises, makes false attacks against his opponent, or sings Al Green. But the one thing he won’t do is talk about the consequences of the last four years of his leadership. It’s as if we are just supposed to forget that his policies have made America weaker, poorer and less prepared.”

SCREEN GEMS

While glittering Hollywood ponders its missing weekend audiences, independent movies continue to emerge. Witness this one, described as a “freedom, family and faith film” by its makers. “Last Ounce of Courage” opens Tuesday to observe the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, screening in 500 theaters and recounting a family’s effort to take a stand against weakening American culture, even as political correctness takes a toll on the nation.

The film has the blessing of actor Chuck Norris; film company Veritas Entertainment is donating a portion of Tuesday sales to the Warriors for Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit supporting active military, vets and families.

“This is a film about courage and character, traits that our brave military possess and on which they act every day in order to protect our nation,” says producer Steve Griffin. “We hope ‘Last Ounce of Courage’ can serve as a reminder that freedom isn’t free — even here in the U.S., where apathy all too often leads to an erosion of our personal liberties.”

The film expands to 1,200 theaters on Friday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 29 percent of Americans say former President Bill Clinton’s speech was the “highlight” of the Democratic National Convention; 36 percent of Democrats agree.

• 20 percent of Americans overall say Clint Eastwood was the “highlight” of the Republican National Convention; 19 percent of Republicans agree.

• 16 percent overall say President Obama was the highlight for the Democratic convention; 24 percent of Democrats agree.

• 17 percent say Mitt Romney was the Republican highlight; 25 percent of Republicans agree.

• 9 percent overall say Michelle Obama was the Democratic highlight; 18 percent of Democrats agree.

• 10 percent overall say Ann Romney was the Republican highlight; 13 percent of Republicans agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,012 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 7-9.

Mottos, codes, watches to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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