In a sign of just how much Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican convention overshadowed the rest of the party’s big nominating event, President Obama’s tweeted rebuttal to that speech was shared across Twitter more than any other message from the convention.
Following Eastwood’s speech, in which the Hollywood icon talked for nearly twelve minutes to an empty chair meant to represent Obama, the president tweeted a picture to his 19 million followers of himself in a chair bearing a name plate that reads,”The President.”
“This seat’s taken,” read the text that accompanied that picture.
According to CNN, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the tweet was the most shared message from the Tampa convention. By midday Sunday, the joke had been retweeted over 51,300 times.
Eastwood’s surprise appearance at the Republican convention’s closing night last Thursday was supposed to be a high point, with Eastwood using his star power to introduce Romney and tout his candidacy. Instead, his head-scratching performance prompted widespread mockery from pundits and commentators. Worse for Republicans, the incident, performed in the penultimate speaking slot before Romney’s big acceptance speech, dominated the convention coverage they’d hoped would instead center on Romney himself.
Obama, in an interview Sunday with USA Today, said he was not offended by Eastwood’s performance. He also told the paper there would probably not be anything as strange as Eastwood’s performance at the Democratic convention this week.