Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Is The Thursday Surprise At The GOP Convention

It appears that there is going to be something happening in Tampa, Florida on Thursday at some arena known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Well, a bunch of people are meeting and they have the elephant as their symbol. Why they are pretty much shutting the city and environs down until then.
And some guy with a touch of gray yet slicked-back black hair is supposed to make some big speech.
But at some point, there is supposed to be this surprise that no one seems to know about.
OK, yes, I am writing about the Republican National Convention. And their symbol. And the biggest speech of one Mitt Romney's political life.
But now there is talk of some "mystery speaker" as Ed Morrissey puts it over at Hot Air.
Allahpundit at the same site adds to the mystery.
Jim Geraghty adds to it in The Morning Jolt.
So, what is it about?
Amazingly with compacting the convention from four to three days, somehow there is a hole in the prime time schedule. Thus there is a part on the schedule in which is "To be announced".
So, speculation is rampant.
Who will it be? Who can it be? What will that person say?
So Mr. Morrissey offers a purely political list here:

  • Governor Rick Perry
  • Herman Cain
  • Fred Thompson
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Sarah Palin

  • Well, it is an interesting list. But I just can not see any of those names making a special appearance. Especially Mrs. Palin. There is no way Team Romney is going to be upstaged. And no doubt, Mrs. Palin would do just that.
    Rush Limbaugh? Also do not see that happening.
    Sooo, here's a good thought from Allahpundit.
    Nancy Reagan.
    Interesting. But I am not sure that she will be up to the rigors of even a short endorsement speech. After all Mrs. Reagan is a frail 90 years old. She has limited her public appearances to events around the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. But I like the thinking.
    And Allah throws out an interesting name in that of Clint Eastwood.
    Now Mr. Eastwood is and has been a Republican as long as I can remember. He has endorsed Mr. Romney. And he is one Hollyweird star that is so established he does not give a damn.
    I give you Mr. Geragthy from The Morning Jolt newsletter:

    The Wall Street Journal gives us something to talk about for the next three days:
    Republican convention planners appear to have a surprise planned for those tuning in Thursday night.

    Buried deep in the convention schedule released Monday is a vague reference to a mystery speaker scheduled for the event's final evening. "To Be Announced" has a prime speaking slot late in the Thursday program.

    By then, speakers from Mitt Romney's church will have taken the stage that night. The co-founder of Staples office-supply chain will have spoken about working with Mr. Romney during his time at Bain Capital. State officials from Massachusetts will have talked about the former governor. Olympians will have already thanked the presidential candidate for leading the 2002 Winter Games.

    The only other speakers to follow "To Be Announced" will be Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mr. Romney himself, suggesting that the unnamed guest may appear during the 10 p.m. hour when the networks all will be broadcasting the convention.

    The good folks at the Journal offer a poll of potential mystery guests, but most are unrealistic: former Georgia Democratic senator Zell Miller, well-armed rocker Ted Nugent, CIA director David Petraeus, former first lady Nancy Reagan, heroic pilot Chesley Sullenberger . . .
    . . . or Sarah Palin.

    As they used to sing on Sesame Street, "One of these things is not like the other, most of these things are kinda the same . . ."

    I have no inside information (yet), but at dinner with my NR colleagues, I pointed out that Palin is glaring by her absence from the program -- I mean Huckabee's speaking, and it's been longer since his name appeared on a ballot -- and that a surprise appearance would probably make the assembled delegates go nuts.

    Of course, Nick Schultz came up with the only idea that could excite the crowd even more: "Hologram Reagan a la Tupac?"

    (If you don't understand the reference, the deceased rapper appeared to "perform" at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival through the use of a hologram. Details here.)

    The next to last paragraph about Hologram Reagan is I think the coolest thought of the mystery speaker of all. And do read the link Mr. Geraghty provided to understand the cultural context.
    I am not sure it is going to be that big of a deal. Mitt Romney is always known as a play it safe kind of guy. But he did choose Paul Ryan to be his vice-president. That was semi-expected. Maybe he would be wise to make a play for young voters in reminding them of the last real leader the United States really had in Ronald Reagan.
    Who knows?
    But it will keep us guessing all the way to Thursday won't it?

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