(Politico) – The right rallied on Labor Day to celebrate â€œNational Empty Chair Day,â€ a show of solidarity with Clint Eastwood after his address to an invisible President Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention last week.
The action picked up steam on Twitter, where the hashtag #emptychairday began trending on Monday morning as users tweeted pictures of empty chairs in various poses.
Notable conservatives like Michelle Malkin and writers at Breitbart.com, as well blogger Prof. Glenn Reynolds, kicked off the trend, according to the conservative blog Legal Insurrection.
The blog, which had asked readers to send in photos of empty chairs, updated its post midday to say that the response had been so overwhelming â€” and the backlog of photos so great â€” that they were forced to close submissions.
â€œItâ€™s fun. Itâ€™s funny,â€ Malkin explained to POLITICO. â€œClint Eastwood resonated with voters outside the snotty, derisive NY-DC-Hollywood axis. He braved derision and ridicule for standing on the convention stage. Activists on the right wanted to demonstrate â€¦ their appreciation. As always, humor is the best medicine.â€
Meanwhile, #Eastwooding â€” which was trending on Twitter last week after the Hollywood iconâ€™s speech, and refers to an address to an empty chair â€” has arrived at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders, capping off a fiery speech to the Wisconsin delegation Monday morning, held a conversation with an invisible Eastwood.
An empty chair had been brought on stage before Saunders started speaking, but he ignored it for most of his speech.
â€œI donâ€™t know if you noticed, but you see this chair? I donâ€™t know if you noticed that he actually walked in with me. Heâ€™s invisible, heâ€™s sitting right here. Heâ€™s been listening to everything I had to say,â€ Saunders said. â€œSo I want you to welcome Clint Eastwood.â€
â€œIâ€™ve got a couple of questions. Iâ€™ve got a couple of questions I want to ask Clint Eastwood,â€ Saunders continued as dozens of attendees cracked up. â€œBut first, buddy, what do you have to say for yourself? I didnâ€™t hear you.â€
â€œClintâ€™s been sitting here for the past hour. He doesnâ€™t have anything to say for himself. Mitt Romney has nothing to say for himself. Paul Ryan has nothing to say for himself,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ve got to make our voices heard. Weâ€™ve got to speak loud and clear. If we do that, we will win in November.â€
â€œDirty Harry, Dirty Harry, make my day,â€ Saunders yelled, knocking the empty chair off of the stage.
As the applause died down, Mike Tate, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair, took the stage. Pausing for a moment as he took the podium, he grinned and said, â€œAnd itâ€™s just Monday, weâ€™ll be here all week.â€
As the convention winds up, Democrats couldnâ€™t stop talking about Eastwood, some even defending him.
â€œI love Clint Eastwood,â€ L.A. Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa, the convention chair, said. â€œI think itâ€™s unfair to do that to Clint Eastwood. [Republicans are] supposed to be the managers. Somebody didnâ€™t manage that very well.â€
And, as conservatives on Twitter have been quick to point out, AMC is capitalizing on the story with a Monday marathon of Eastwoodâ€™s films.