Clint Eastwood used to be one of Hollywood's most prominent Republicans, but the GOP's rightward shift, coupled with Eastwood's own fondness for "discussing things from the other person's point of view" (like a lady boxer) has left him an actor-director without a party. The disconnect was on full display yesterday during Eastwood's interview with Katie Couric of CBS, in which the actor criticized President Obama without calling him a phony foreign communist snob from 1920s Chicago. This statement is bound to raise questions with Eastwood's fans on the right, especially the ones who misunderstood Unforgiven. Would Dirty Harry have called the man who bailed out General Motors a "nice fella"? Would Josey Wales lament Obama's failure to "surround himself with the kind of people he could have surrounded himself with"? (Probably not, because they are fictional characters.)
All in all, it was the kind of interview David Gergen could have given if he was Clint Eastwood, save for the actor's bold contention that Every Which Way But Loose--the 1979 film in which Eastwood and an orangutan named Clyde travel the country in a semi-truck busting up biker gangs and falling in love with country music singers--was a "hip idea."