Open Phones: #Eastwooding

Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in Tampa (Mark Wilson/Getty)

During last night's remarks at the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood addressed an imaginary Obama sitting in an empty chair to his side. We'll take this conceit and run with it: if you could have a conversation with someone sitting on an empty stool next to you, who would it be, and what would you say? It doesn't have to be about politics - anyone in the stool counts. Call 212-433-9692 or post your conversation transcript below!

Comments [31]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I hope Dhimmi Carter speaks at the DNC. He's a harbinger of one-term Presidency.

Then Obama will unlimited time to work on his golf swing.

Sep. 01 2012 01:03 AM
Chris from NYC

The empty chair reminded me of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man."

I haven't followed the RNC closely, but race, and racism, can be read into a lot of what I heard:
"We're taking back America" etc., etc...

Sep. 01 2012 12:29 AM

LOL...these about a Left Wing echo chamber.

Aug. 31 2012 01:06 PM
Dave from Maplewood, NJ

I would want Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan in the chair and I want to know: what will my medical insurance/cost profile be when I am 70. I am 54 now with substantial back problems (herniated discs, osteo-arthritis) and will need substantial and likely increasing medical attention as I age. With state-provided medicare I have no confidence of meaningful coverage.

Aug. 31 2012 12:11 PM
John A.

I would sit Grover Norquist in a bathtub and then fill it up.

Aug. 31 2012 12:02 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I'd put the people running the Democratic campaigns in the chair(s) & ask why they aren't countering Republican statements better. It's not all that hard--things like:

Republicans in the Senate & House are keeping President Obama from getting things done & then saying, “He's not getting anything done!” (e.g., when they refuse to confirm his nominees, or even hold confirmation hearings, to the agencies that carry out his policies).

Obama had a majority in Congress in 2009-2010, but not a filibuster-proof majority.

How many more people would be put out of their homes by Romney's recommendation to let foreclosures continue until the housing market hit bottom?

Aug. 31 2012 12:00 PM
Barbara from Nyack

I would put Brian Lehrer in the chair and ask him what the proper role of the media is when so many lies are being told in politics, as Cokie Roberts explained earlier today. For example, an earlier caller said he'll vote for Romney because he thinks he will reduce the budget deficit. But the Congressional Budget Office said the Ryan budget plan, with its proposed tax cuts, will increase the deficit. The same issue comes up with the $716 billion supposed medicare cuts that are actually medicare savings. See Paul Krugman's column today. Near the end, he says the media needs to do it's job which, if lies are being told, is to help educate voters so we make more informed choices.

Aug. 31 2012 12:00 PM
Bill from New Rochelle

Empty Chair

I like Clint Eastwood, but his performance was sour.

The empty chair is for someone who should be there but didn't show up.

It was Romney's night, the President shouldn't have been there.

But, were he there, he could easilly have handled Eastwoods lame thrusts; Romney's half truths; and Ryan's outright lies.

Have fun at Charlotte !!!

Aug. 31 2012 11:58 AM
Snarkmonger from NY

Chris Christie

Are the Sopranos missing a cast member?

Aug. 31 2012 11:58 AM
Janet from NYC


Empty chair technique is also used in Gestalt Therapy, in which a client is asked to confront someone in his/her past (or present), and engage in a dialogue in order to clarify issues, express repressed feelings, toward the goal of inner resolution and empowerment.

Aug. 31 2012 11:58 AM
Michelle from LIC

Don't forget the empty chair that represented Liu Xiaobo when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia.

Aug. 31 2012 11:57 AM
Robert from NYC

I would need a theater of empty chairs. It would be too much.

Aug. 31 2012 11:56 AM
Marisa from Chelsea

I would sit Margaret Sanger in the chair and ask her what she thinks of the Republicans
platform plank to outlaw abortion. Her motto that "Every child has the right to be wanted"
remains the most eloquent argument for choice.

Aug. 31 2012 11:55 AM
Charles Zigmund from Carmel, NY

Alexander Hamilton, you faced rage against big government from Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic Republican party of your day. I think your vision of the federal government superseding the states and undertaking projects and fiscal actions that benefit the country has basically prevailed during the successful history of this nation. You were also mostly unafraid of government debt. How would you address the rage against big government today?

Aug. 31 2012 11:55 AM

Paul Ryan,

And I would ask him, if he is willing to drop his beautiful government health care for his new health care plan.

Aug. 31 2012 11:53 AM
Snarkmonger from NY

Garry Kasparov

I would ask him if it is possible to buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop.

Aug. 31 2012 11:53 AM

I would put Cokie Roberts in the chair and ask her why how she became such a partisan hack.

Aug. 31 2012 11:52 AM
frog from nj

I'd put Mr Romney in a chair, so long as it was in Louisiana during the hurricane and ask him what's so funny about rising sea levels and climate change?

Aug. 31 2012 11:51 AM
Tom from UWS

If it were Romney in the chair, I'd ask him what he, the experienced job creator, has done over the past four years to create jobs (outside his campaign staff). I ask why, with his expertise, he remained essentially "retired" - retired from Bain, retired from the MA statehouse, retired from anything but running for the presidency. If the need was urgent, as he says it was, why didn't he do something practical about it?

Aug. 31 2012 11:51 AM

I've always wanted to know what Martin Luther King, Jr. would make of gangsta rap.

Aug. 31 2012 11:50 AM
Stephen from Manhattan

I'd put Eastwood in the chair and ask him why his movies are so monumentally boring.

Aug. 31 2012 11:49 AM
dennis from whitestone

I'd Put George W. Bush In The Chair And Ask Him If He Really Believes His Invitation To The Convention Was Lost In The Mail.

Aug. 31 2012 11:27 AM
JMD from NY

I would ask Paul Ryan the question: If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

Aug. 31 2012 11:24 AM
JMD from NY

I would ask Ben Bernanke the question: Why do banks leave the door wide open but the pens are chained to the counter?

Aug. 31 2012 11:22 AM
JMD from NY

In keeping with the theme, I guess I would sit Mittens down and ask him the following 3 questions: How did a fool and his money get together? Can a blind man really see his dreams? Do people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water know that spelling it backwards is Naive?

Aug. 31 2012 11:16 AM
Brendan, Uptown from Uppe West Side

First, I thought I'd like to put Clint in the chair, and say basically what he said to/about Obama -- to go into further detail would violate WNYC's request to be civil.

Second, I'd put Reince Priebus and/or John Boehner in the chair and ask what they were thinking by putting Eastwood on.

What I've finally arrived at, though, is I'd put the ghost of H.L. Mencken in the chair, and just let him talk. He'd do almost as good a job of undermining the GOP as Clint did.

Aug. 31 2012 11:15 AM
Louis from Brooklyn

I would put Jamie Dimon in the chair and psychoanalyze him. I am curious to know where he gets his self-righteous attitude to justify the destruction of people’s livelihoods while living off the wealth of others.

Aug. 31 2012 11:12 AM
bernie from bernie

2 people, 2 questions-
#1- clint eastwood- are you prepared to jokingly answer questions about the unhinged man that attempted to assassinate the president and his family after hearing your "make my day" inference at the RNC?
#2- rick santorum- would you be the proud grandpa to a child born of the rape of your handicapped daughter by an illegal immigrant?

Aug. 31 2012 11:10 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Who would I put in my empty chair?

Clint Eastwood, of course.

I'd tell him to find himself a nice senior center where he can learn tai-chi and perhaps pottery. Don't do anything that requires a microphone -- it's too embarrassing for the family.

Aug. 31 2012 10:12 AM
mary wilhelm from Locust Valley

Good Morning,

I would love to see John C. Sigler - head of the NRA - sitting in the "hot seat". I would like to know what he thinks of the recent shooting spree events from the last two months - starting with Colorado. I want to know how we as a society are going to move forward!

Aug. 31 2012 10:08 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I would put two people, Romney and Ryan, on the hotseat (stool) and ask the following:

The Torah (Old Testament) teaches us "Thou shalt not bear false witness." You both claim to be very religious people. How can you justify LYING about President Obama's accomplishments and the economic and ecological prospects for this country?

Aug. 31 2012 10:07 AM

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