Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair: Built to Last
Life + Money

Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair: Built to Last

REUTERS/Jason Reed

Even as the spotlight has shifted to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week, millions are still scratching their heads over the now-infamous “empty chair” speech that actor/director Clint Eastwood made last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. He addressed an “invisible” President Obama and pretended to have an ongoing dialogue with him.

The performance fired up the GOP faithful but set tongues of all political stripes wagging.

“What do you want me to tell Romney?” a rambling, rumpled Eastwood said to the simple wooden chair, looking to his left and gesturing. Then he turned back to the crowd and announced, “I can’t tell him to do that to himself ...” 

Almost instantly after the 12-minute ad-libbed monologue, the Twitter handle “Invisible Obama” popped up, declaring that it was sitting “stage left of Clint Eastwood” and that “the GOP built me.”

One short hour after Eastwood’s performance, the Twitter account had 20,000 followers. As of this morning (Thursday, September 6), it has over 69,000 followers (after a brief disappearance from Twitter, it’s now been restored). 

About the Hollywood actor and his performance: “It was campaign malpractice that the Romney managers sent out a dithering, clueless Clint Eastwood,” wrote Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “The Romney campaign will be lucky if Eastwood’s antics don’t linger as a national punch line.”

The chair as a political prop, nevertheless, shows no signs of exiting the stage – and joins a list of other famous chairs through history, many with political connections of one kind or another. Take a look at these other notable, enduring and iconic chairs.