Clint Eastwood and his empty Obama chair go viral on the InterWebs

August 31, 2012

I’m not sure Clint Eastwood has even ever been online before, but he’s now succeeded in going viral and kick-starting several memes after his RNC speech.

As you may have already seen or heard, veteran Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood made a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention on Thursday (Aug. 30) to throw his support behind presidential candidate Mitt Romney. It was a sad, shambling performance from an 82-year-old man, and I suspect the GOP is already regretting the booking.

However, the best and worst thing about the speech was Eastwood’s conversation with an empty chair he claimed represented President Obama. He poked fun at the empty chair, asked it questions, and generally used the prop as a tool to entertain and enthrall the assembled Republican members. While everyone on the outside looking in watched in open-jawed astonishment.

One quick-witted wag immediately set up a Twitter account with the name @InvisibleObama, which gained over 20,000 followers in just 45 minutes. At the time of writing that follower count has more than doubled to 45,000. There are also other Twitter accounts trying to mock the bizarre sketch, but none have got quite as much attention.

A meme has since sprung up around Clint Eastwood and his conversation with an imaginary President Obama. It’s called ‘Eastwooding’, and involves nothing more than Photoshopped images of Eastwood and his empty chair. Mashable has already pulled together some of the finer examples, including sad Keanu sitting on the chair, and Eastwood as Dirty Harry threatening an abandoned armchair.

Even Obama himself got in on the fun by tweeting a picture of himself sitting in the presidential chair with the accompanying line of, “This seat’s taken.”

The Internet is a law unto itself, and it has decided to mock Eastwood’s performance at the RNC. Whatever your political views, that can’t be good for the GOP, Mitt Romney, or indeed Clint Eastwood.

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