Do We Feel Lucky? What President Obama Can Learn From Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood’s ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan made audiences appreciate his zero tolerance policy for criminals with lines like “Go ahead, make my day”. Over the course of five films Harry took out the trash for San Francisco. He squashed numerous threats from serial killers to corrupt police officers. He drove ‘bleeding heart’ liberals crazy to the point they were calling the initial film Fascist (see reviews by Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert).
Similar to Harry’s strength against criminals, Eastwood himself has gained a reputation for being fiscally strong as a director. Growing up in the depression era has certainly influenced him. Maybe President Obama can learn some things from Eastwood’s successful career. In a new article for Variety, Eastwood says:
“I grew up in an era when you knew the value of a buck, and I’ve never forgotten it, my old man used to preach to me, ‘Nothing comes from nothing, no one’s going to give you anything,’ and that’s probably the best advice I’ve ever had.”
Eastwood’s new film, Invictus, reportedly came in ahead of schedule and under budget. Maybe Eastwood should have stuck with politics! It is safe to assume that Eastwood is most likely not a fan of Obama’s wasteful spending (with no signs of slowing down). If Obama were to make a film it would most likely be a massive box office flop. Let’s just hope that America doesn’t turn into Waterworld (one of the largest flops in history, for those who don’t know).
Speaking of Eastwood’s continued ability to make successful films, the Variety article continues:
“Eastwood, in turn, has harnessed such lifelong aversions into a career long, pragmatic pursuit of the most efficient and economical business and production models. And while so many of his contemporaries tolerated inflated and ballooning budgets, and then burned out, Eastwood, a tightfisted, fiscal conservative in the grand tradition of Hitchcock and Preminger, is having the last laugh.”
Because of their ability to make films with a responsible budget, not to mention the use of appealing subject matter that isn’t driven by radical agendas, directors like Eastwood, Hitchcock, and Preminger enjoyed successful careers that lasted the rest of their life. Obama should definitely take some lessons from these men while his approval ratings drop. Just over a year after his election into office, Gallup polls show how America is continually losing faith in Obama:
“Americans are much less positive than they were a year ago that President Barack Obama will be able to accomplish a number of challenges facing his administration. In particular, far fewer Americans believe he will be able to heal political divisions and control federal spending.”
If only Obama could govern the country like Eastwood makes films. Of course, that would require fiscal responsibility. A good Christmas gift for Obama would be a selection of Eastwood’s films or Marc Eliot’s new biography American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood. This would give him a good dose of the “Eastwood Doctrine” that could prevent America from becoming Obama’s box office flop!
Editor’s Note: See David Swindle’s January 2009 FrontPage essay on the libertarian-conservative vision in Eastwood’s films.