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Could It Be…Palin?

The Wall Street Journal calls everyone’s attention to a “vague reference to a mystery speaker” in the official schedule for the Republican National Convention — namely, a “to be announced” appearing in the 10 pm slot on Thursday night. Cue the speculation, which begins with the WSJ’s poll of possible names that includes some rather obvious duds.

No, Ted Nugent is not going to be the mystery speaker. Or David Petreaus. The only name on the list that makes any sense is Sarah Palin. Jim Geraghty at the National Review agrees:

The more you think about the idea, the more it makes sense — whatever controversy and intense reactions Sarah Palin may bring to whatever she does, if there is one thing we know she does exceptionally well, it is give convention speeches! This wouldn’t mean turning her into an official Romney surrogate or putting her in a Romney cabinet or anything like that — just giving one of the Republican figures most beloved by the grassroots — or at least a large and vocal segment of the grassroots — a chance to fire up the base and discuss why it is so important that everyone pull out all the stops for Romney.

Andrew Sullivan thinks that might backfire on them because “the more independent voters associate Romney’s candidacy with Palin, the less likely they are to vote for him.” But I think that’s a risk the Romney campaign would be willing to take. If there is one dominant theme to Romney’s entire campaign so far, it’s the relentless attempts to appeal to the hard right base rather than to independent voters.

Comments

  1. Michael Heath says

    This is one illustration of the intelligence and grip on reality of one type of WSJ commenter (I get WSJ email blasts); Leslie wrote at 8:59 am August 28, 2012:

    Obama – unconditional surrender.

    Here is why. Like most libs he is actually a very greedy person with limited skills. He learned from the master, Clinton, how to turn the presidency into a (job-killing) ATM machine. He has at least a hundred million dollars in his campaign’s bank accounts. If he quits now he gets to keep the money. The alternative is he is defeated in November with all this money wasted on TV and his bloated staff, his value goes down, and worse he leaves office with nothing – Moochelle would cut his balls off.

    Cite: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/08/27/who-is-thursdays-mystery-convention-speaker/tab/comments/

  2. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #6

    He learned from the master, Clinton, how to turn the presidency into a (job-killing) ATM machine.

    Mr. Leslie seems to have a faulty memory as the unemployment rate during the Clinton Administration fell to 3.6% and was, as I recall, 4.2% on Jan. 20, 2001 (ha, got the right century this time) when he left office. It ain’t been anywhere near that since.

  3. eric says

    Andrew Sullivan thinks that might backfire on them because “the more independent voters associate Romney’s candidacy with Palin, the less likely they are to vote for him.” But I think that’s a risk the Romney campaign would be willing to take.

    I tend to agree. 10pm Thursday? No independents are going to be watching that. They might hear that she spoke via news the next day, but simply hearing that she spoke at the convention is unlikely to link her to Romney in people’s minds. And, frankly, it shouldn’t.

    I’ve heard it’s Clint Eastwood.

    I’d bet against that. Eastwood could draw some pretty good ratings from independents, especially older ones. If it were him, I bet they would’ve stuck him in a prime time spot and be advertising it out the wazoo.

  4. says

    I bet strongly against Palin. It does not make sense. She is toxic to everyone but her small and dwindling fan base, and Romney’s got their vote locked already. The second-to-last thing the Romney campaign wants to do, if they’ve got any sense, is to remind everyone of the farce that was their 2008 ticket. (The very last thing they want to do, of course, is to remind everyone of the farce that was their president for 8 years.)

    I don’t have the energy to try to guess who it’s going to be, but I suspect that it’s no one special and they’re just trying to generate hype.

  5. addiepray says

    Eastwood, Tim Tebow, or Liz Cheney. Liz is great at throwing red meat, and they are taking every chance they can to show off female speakers.

  6. says

    “He has at least a hundred million dollars in his campaign’s bank accounts. If he quits now he gets to keep the money.”

    Um, no, he doesn’t.

  7. says

    I don’t have the energy to try to guess who it’s going to be, but I suspect that it’s no one special and they’re just trying to generate hype.

    That’s plausible — they can’t distract us by speculating on Romney’s VP pick anymore, so this might serve as another distraction for at least a day or so.

  8. says

    Emperor Palpatine?

    Or Pope Palpadict.

    Or a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/26/cardinal-timothy-dolans-republican-national-convention_n_1827962.html”>this guy.

  9. says

    “I tend to agree. 10pm Thursday? No independents are going to be watching that.”

    That’s actually a prime slot. It should be just one or two speakers before Romney. The schedule is timed so that people on the West coast aren’t still at work when the big shots come on, though they run the risk of it being after Romney’s bedtime.

    On the Google machine, apparently everyone is saying it’s Clint Eastwood. They could have done worse, I suppose. Like Palin for instance. But I don’t know why Eastwood would associate with those haters.

  10. Trebuchet says

    @ #18: That guy’s already scheduled. For BOTH conventions. It would also be illegal for him to give a political speech, not that that stops any of the right-wing Xian preachers.

  11. baal says

    I’d guess Palin or equivalent. From the Ryan pick, it’s clear the (R) are going for getting out the base vote and she’s still liked by that set of wingnuts.

  12. eric says

    Area Man – I hadn’t thought outside my time zone. I shouldn’t have been so provincial – you’re right, that makes the Eastwood pick more credible.

  13. Christoph Burschka says

    I hope it’s Sarah Palin, if only because it might mean we get to see Tina Fey on SNL again.

  14. Eric R says

    But I don’t know why Eastwood would associate with those haters.

    Because he’s one himself?

  15. grumpyoldfart says

    Doesn’t matter. The media will just pick up the press handouts and publish whatever the party wants them to publish.

  16. TGAP Dad says

    Maybe it’ll be a Coachella-style hologram of a re-animated St. Ronald Reagan. They’d be falling down in convulsing orgasms and speaking in tongues over that.

  17. Erp says

    @20 It is not illegal (at least under US law) for Dolan to give a political speech; he just can’t do it from a church pulpit or by otherwise using church money or property.

  18. hexidecima says

    alas, actors aren’t the people they portray. They can be willfully ignorant idiots who just want an audience. I would have said it woudl have been Palin, after watching Christine O’Donnell just about having an orgasm over the thought on Chris Matthew’s show when he interviewed her. She was just so sure that the TP has taken over the GOP. Poor thing.

  19. d cwilson says

    Yeah, it’s Eastwood

    Look for tons of gushing on Fox and Friends. The only thing they love more than bashing actors who get involved in politics is when an actor gets involved in politics on their side.

  20. Reginald Selkirk says

    WSJ commenter quoted in #6: Moochelle

    ORLY? It’s nice of them to give you so many clues as to how seriously you should take their advice.

  21. says

    d cwilson “Yeah, it’s Eastwood”

    He later told hundreds at the outdoor reception that Romney was “going to restore, hopefully, a decent tax system that we need badly…so that there’s a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as to who’s paying taxes and who isn’t.” (fm link)

    I’d snort if he expected that from Obama (whose ‘Grand Bargain’ ideal is cutting “entitlements” in exchange for token changes in taxes), but from Romney that gets a guffaw.

  22. lorn says

    Mittens cast his lot with the Teaparty (wholly owned by the most extreme right and funded by the Kochs) when he picked Ryan for VP. Moderating by avoiding Palin doesn’t win any points from any constituency and it might raise doubts among the Teaparty loyalists. Bringing Palin in doubles-down on his previous siding with the Teaparty.

    It does alienate the few remaining moderates within the GOP but that constituency is just a thin and empty shell of dead-enders too stubborn to admit that the twin horses of GOP power, racists and fundamentalists, have eaten the GOP seed corn of ideas and principle and now run the party.

    As with the industrialist bringing Hitler in thinking they could control him the moderate Republicans became dependent on and were overwhelmed by the groups they sought to use. Knowing these political realities Willard turned to the only remaining group that wouldn’t be seen as an open capitulation. Unlike the fundies and bigots the Teaparty, the Koch brothers and Peterson, are not yet pushing a focused agenda so spin can still be applied to allow some degree of freedom.

    There really weren’t many other options.

  23. sc_0c38dd169d71fc465c10a1a181f42370 says

    Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, or Pope Benedict XVI. All three are deeply religious, and have rock-solid “Culture of Life” street-cred. All three would be a surprise, and all three would find plenty of social conservative elements in the GOP platform to endorse.

  24. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    How long is she scheduled to speak for? We can assume she’ll just shrug and walk offstage at about the halfway mark.

  25. harold says

    It’s sure not Palin.

    In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Palin obviously somehow thought she would be Romney’s VP. She reacted to the Ryan situation with stunned silence and, eventually, a tardy and tight-lipped lukewarm endorsement.

    It was clear that she stayed out of the primary for some reason. There was speculation at the time that she planned to “swoop in” to the convention and get herself nominated without bothering with the primary.

    Now it’s clear that somebody – either Romney or the RNC – informally told her she would be the VP candidate if she stayed out of the primary. What can she do about it? Sue? Campaign for Obama? There’s nothing she can do. But she’s not going to be making convention speeches.

  26. John Hinkle says

    I’m going to have to go with…

    Bozo the Clown.

    Thing is, who’s Bozo under the makeup?

  27. gerryl says

    By the time I was leaving work (west coast) they were already saying it would be Clint Eastwood. And it was … painfully so. I decided it would be a good time to go out and water the garden because it was so uncomfortable.

    I don’t recall that ol’ Clint ever played with the Dems.

    Rubio (‘Charisma Boy’) has great speaking skills. Unfortunately, he hewed to the American exceptionalism script. God luvs us more.

  28. Uncle Glenny says

    Well, I guess Eastwood one-ups Barney Frank. Frank wouldn’t explain anything to a dining room table, but Eastwood could debate a chair.

  29. Ichthyic says

    Also, does nobody remember when Clint Eastwood was a Democratic Party shill? It was like… 7 months ago.

    no, they do not.

    I think one of the biggest problems that has always existed in politics, is that the people most fervently arguing positions seem to have EXTREMELY short memories.

    I think it used to be a few years, now it’s down to just a few months, maybe less.

    It’s definitely worse in the US that in other places I have lived in, but I do see it everywhere.

  30. Reginald Selkirk says

    Nothing like Clint Eastwood, addressing the national convention of the Republican Party, explaining how conservative celebrities “don’t go around hot-dogging it.”

  31. Reginald Selkirk says

    What a loon, does he not remember who started the war in Afghanistan? And which party they belonged to?
    “Time for a businessman” – because that worked out so well the last time. I remember W bragging about how many companies he had run into the ground.

  32. Reginald Selkirk says

    RE article linked in #51: As Rachel explained on the air once it was over, “That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life, and it will be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen if I live to be 100.”

    She shouldn’t be so sure. A lot of people do not seem to be familiar with the “stop digging” strategy.

  33. dingojack says

    Maybe Clint’s still is a Democratic Party Shill …
    just one that’s crazy like a fox.
    ;) Dingo
    —–
    PS: Since the Repubs are going to have to eventually go to the Emerald City to get a heart anyway, perhaps they could get their straw-man Obama a brain
    it’d easily run rings around Mr Flip-Flop as a candidate.

  34. StevoR says

    @50. Reginald Selkirk :

    What a loon, does he not remember who started the war in Afghanistan?

    Which war? Been so many there, in fact I can’t recall them ever being at peace.

    The Taliban and Al Quaida versus the Western Coalition of the Willing? (A Jihad launched by Osama bin Laden in the early 1990′s when Clinton was President after Kuwait had been freed?) The Soviets vs the Mujahedeen? The Mujahideen versus each other? The Taliban versus the rest? The British Raj versus the Afghan tribes? The Mongols ditto? Heck, the Afghanis of the time versus Alexander teh Great and still further back ..? Who started it? Who knows?

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