Devin Gordon: Let me ask you about your rivals. Recently, in response to a question about you being the new “flavor of the month,” you said you weren’t a flavor of the month, you were Häagen-Dazs black walnut, which “tastes good all the time.” If Mitt Romney was an ice cream flavor, what flavor would he be?
Herman Cain: Oh, just plain vanilla. [laughs] Are you guys really going to print this? I have learned that with my new status in the polls, any- and every thing that I say will show up somewhere. Do you guys really want to do this ice cream analogy?
Devin Gordon: We do. Rick Perry?
Herman Cain: Rick Perry: rocky road.
Devin Gordon: Michele Bachmann?
Herman Cain: Michele Bachmann… I’m not going to say it. I’m not going to say it.
Devin Gordon: Oh, come on!
Herman Cain: Tutti-frutti. I know I’m going to get in trouble!
Chris Heath: Ron Paul…
Herman Cain: I just don’t have a good description for Ron Paul, because he’s just not an ice cream flavor.
When it comes to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, if Eastwood is enthusiastic about anyone, it’s Herman Cain. “I love Cain’s story,” he says. “He’s a guy who came from nowhere and did well, obviously against heavy odds. He’s a doer and a straight-talker, which I don’t see enough of from either party.”
He’s not as bullish on Mitt Romney. As a film icon, Eastwood has been fiercely protective of his image, but he’s not especially enamored by that attitude in a politician. When Eastwood was in Massachusetts in 2002, filming “Mystic River,” Romney was running for governor there. “I saw a lot of him and you have to admit — he looks like a president,” Eastwood recalled with a tone that you’d have to describe as being slyly sarcastic. “I mean, if you were casting a movie where you needed someone to play president, you’d definitely pick him.”
He sounded equally skeptical about Rick Perry. When I suggested that Perry, as a rugged, gun-toting Texan, would probably crave a photo op with Eastwood even more than with Donald Trump, Eastwood said with a shrug, “If he wanted to meet me, he might be a little disappointed.”