From “Before Eastwood’s Talk With a Chair, Clearance From the Top,” Michael Barbaro and Michael D. Shear, NYT:
“For all the finger-pointing about Clint Eastwood’s rambling conversation with an empty chair on Thursday night, the most bizarre, head-scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history were set in motion by Mitt Romney himself and made possible by his aides, who had shrouded the actor’s appearance in secrecy.
“Mr. Romney privately invited Mr. Eastwood…to speak after the actor had given him a gravelly, full-throated endorsement at a star-studded fund-raiser at the Sun Valley Resort Lodge in Idaho this summer.
“Behind the scenes, Mr. Eastwood’s convention cameo was cleared by Mr. Romney’s top message mavens, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, who drew up talking points that Mr. Eastwood included, in his own way. They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both. The actor’s decision to use a chair as a prop was last-minute, and his own.
“Romney advisers so trusted Mr. Eastwood, 82, that unlike with other speakers, they said they did not conduct rehearsals or insist on a script or communicate guidelines for the style or format of his remarks.” Emphasis added.
I’ve posted before that Mitt had a lousy staff in 2008, that he has a lousy staff now (many of them the same), and that he needs to “enjoy firing” some of them. It’s a little ironic that this gang that clearly can’t shoot straight got taken down by Clint.