By RONNIE ELLIS
FRANKFORT — Clint Eastwood made Barack Obama’s day.
Problem was he was supposed to make Mitt Romney’s. The actor, perhaps the era’s best cinematic director, threw Romney’s Republican Convention coronation off track with a bizarre and disrespectful ad-libbed speech to an empty chair representing the absent Obama.
It was so bad Romney’s campaign issued a statement excusing it — while Romney was speaking.
The real blame is on Romney’s staff, not Eastwood. Major networks no longer broadcast conventions gavel to gavel; they begin coverage at 10 p.m. So what did the Romney team do? They ran a moving biographical video tribute, which had even hard-hearted journalists tearing up in the 9 p.m. hour when perhaps 10 million were tuned in on cable networks.
Then Eastwood opened the 10 p.m. hour just as viewership tripled to 30 million or so. They should have run the film rather than the filmmaker. They should have previewed Eastwood’s speech beforehand, too.
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