In his address to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Eastwood used an empty chair as a stage prop, acting as if he were having a conversation with President Obama.
It was a surreal performance, one that had millions of Americans riveted to televised coverage as he acted out a strange yet entertaining dialog with the president. In the process, he inadvertently handed the Obama campaign a new slogan that may well dwarf all the possible gains the GOP made over the course of the convention: “This seat’s taken.”
The president’s campaign did not use the #Eastwooding hash tag, but there can be no doubt what Team Obama had in mind with this Tweet and the picture accompanying it.
Like the 2011 fad of planking, when people Tweeted pictures of themselves in a rigid, plank-like position, “Eastwooding” involves people Tweeting pictures of empty chairs. As of 10 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Aug. 30, #eastwooding was the No. 4 trending tag on Twitter across the whole United States.
In an otherwise tightly scripted convention, Eastwood’s performance apparently was not vetted by anyone. The Punditty Project expects it pick up steam well into next week when the Democrats meet in Charlotte, effectively blunting any serious social media momentum the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan campaign might have picked up from the Republican National Convention.
In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that Eastwood just made Obama’s day, even though his chair soliloquy occurred on a sweltering summer night in Florida.