As National Empty Chair Day continued to go viral on Monday, with a main headline link at The Drudge Report, the hashtag #EmptyChairDay trending as high as number 2 nationally on Twitter, and thousands of empty chair pictures circulating on Facebook, one photograph emerged that seemed to capture Clint Eastwood’s message that President Obama is not getting the job done.
A photo of an empty chair next to the $30,000 Obama sand sculpture commissioned by the Myrtle Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau emerged Monday afternoon that suggested perhaps even some at the DNC realize that President Obama has failed. The photo, which appears to be genuine and not photoshopped, first surfaced at the conservative blog The Last Refuge.
The mainstream media has been unable to ignore the National Empty Chair Day story. The Wall Street Journal provided the most objective account of the story:
Conservative media outlets are driving a Twitter campaign to dub Monday, both Labor Day and the first (albeit unofficial) day of the Democratic National Convention, as “empty chair day.” In a play on Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech to an empty chair, intended to represent an absent President Barack Obama, Republican supporters are attacking Obama’s record under the hashtag #emptychairday. By Monday morning, the hashtag was trending on Twitter in the U.S.
Even Politico and The Hill covered the conservative social media empty chair firestorm.
Politico offered this angle on it:
The right rallied on Labor Day to celebrate “National Empty Chair Day,” a show of solidarity with Clint Eastwood after his rambling 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.
The Hill grudgingly acknowledged the impact of National Empty Chair Day, but couldn’t resist adding this spin:
Republicans on Twitter dubbed Monday “National Empty Chair Day,” playing up actor Clint Eastwood’s speech at the GOP convention last week and mocking President Obama.
Twitter users tweeted photos of empty chairs in different settings with the hashtag #emptychairday in homage to Eastwood, who brought a chair on stage and addressed it as “Mr. Obama.”
In the 10-minute ad-libbed speech delivered in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Eastwood pretended to ask questions of an invisible Obama seated in the chair.
The performance sparked a Twitter firestorm, with many calling it bizarre and inappropriate and others treating it as a humorous skit.
The Obama campaign quickly ribbed Eastwood, whom many Republicans feared stole attention from Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech that night. . .
On Monday, conservatives sought to turn the much-derided Eastwood address into a positive, tweeting photos of empty chairs and messages criticizing Obama.
But the Hill’s “making lemonade out of lemons” interpretation of the National Empty Chair Day was not a perspective shared by the many conservatives who enjoyed the fun of their social media victory that once again put the Obama campaign on the defensive.