Shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern last night, Clint Eastwood took the stage at the Republican National Convention and began arguing with an empty chair meant to represent President Obama. Moments later, an enterprising Twitter user created a novelty account based on the incident: @ClintsChair. That handle didn’t really catch on – but rival account @InvisibleObama did. When I retweeted the account’s first message around 10:21, it had fewer than 100 followers. An hour later, it had amassed tens of thousands – by 10 a.m. this morning, the count was up to 40,000. See, transparency works!
Sometime after 9 a.m. today, Invisible Obama was temporarily suspended; we’re working on finding out why. (It reappeared around 9:40 a.m. with this message: “I’m back. Sorry about that. @Twitter took the invisible thing a little too literally. Now where were we…”) Thankfully, retweets and screenshots mean that this masterpiece’s best jokes were never truly lost. Here are some of my favorites:
“The GOP built me.”
“Mitt, if you would talk to me like Clint did, I’d tell you that my iPod plays ‘Invisible Touch.’ On repeat.”
“I’m behind Mitt! No seriously. I’m right behind him.”
“Global warming’s invisible too? Oh it’s on now.”
“Did I just get invisible credit for taking out Bin Laden?”
“One nation! Under God! Invisible!”
Though Barack Obama himself hasn’t tweeted at his see-through doppelganger, he did tweet a response to Eastwood’s ranting: “This seat’s taken,” accompanied by a photo of Obama sitting in a chair labeled “The President.” Go ahead, Clint. Make his day.
Election 2012 coverage
Republican National Convention, Day 3: By the numbers, starting with one empty chair
Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention: A TV review
Clint Eastwood talks to Obama at the Republican Convention: ‘What do you mean, ‘Shut up’?’: VIDEO