(ESQUIRE) To most Americans, the spectacle of Clint Eastwood addressing the Republican National Convention was strange and baffling, even inexplicable. Why would Clint Eastwood, who has been so protective over the years of the image he has manufactured in Hollywood, suddenly cash it in service to a politician looking to assume power in Washington? Why would he allow himself to descend, in front of an audience of millions, into a halting, geriatric incoherence, with an invisible chair yet?
Well, I had met Clint Eastwood just a month earlier for the purpose of writing the cover story for the October issue of Esquire, and I thought I knew why. First of all, he has an invisible chair of his own, in his office on the Warner Brothers lot. Secondly, he really doesn't like Obama. And thirdly, as he had grown old, he was waging the same fight to protect his image as he always had — to invoke what I, in my story, call his "epic right of refusal." He was just failing.
My experience with Clint was as follows: I was sitting in his office, waiting for him to come in from Esquire's photo shoot. His assistant came in and told me that I was sitting in "the place where Clint really feels comfortable." I looked around. There were two couches in the office, and I was sitting at the end of one of them. I said, "He has a special seat? I'm sitting in Archie Bunker's chair?" She smiled and said, "Well, you can sit there as long as you like. But when Clint comes in, you should probably get up. You're sitting in the place where he feels comfortable."
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