Takes a serious badass to beat up an empty chair.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The newly-elected president of the giant public workers’ union AFSCME, Lee Saunders, took a page out of Clint Eastwood’s book at an Ohio delegation Labor Day breakfast on Monday, speaking to an empty chair that he pretended was occupied by Eastwood. At first it was just a lark.
“He’s been sitting here listening to all the speakers before me, he’s been listening to me, I want you to give Clint Eastwood a round of applause,” Saunders said. “I brought him with me to learn some things, OK? To teach him, to educate him.” The audience murmured and laughed.
Saunders asked the chair questions, then joked, “He doesn’t have anything to say.”
“Mitt Romney doesn’t have anything to say,” Saunders continued. “Paul Ryan doesn’t have anything to say.”
Suddenly, the tone changed: Saunders, finishing his speech, began to kick the chair, threw it, and yelled “Dirty Harry, make my day! We’re gonna kick ass in November!”
The crowd was cheering, and the humor had gained a palpable edge.
“We wanted to respond to the nonsense that he did last week,” Saunders said later. “We’re here to have fun but we’re here to work, too, so we thought we were sending a message.”