A “mystery speaker” for Thursday night?

posted at 10:01 am on August 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The cancellation of the first night of the Republican convention forced planners to compress the schedule a bit.  Bobby Jindal had to drop out, of course, for very good reason, as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to aim at southern Louisiana and Mississippi.  That still left a little room, though, for some intrigue, as the RNC’s schedule has a mighty suspicious hole in prime time on the final night of the convention (via Kate Hicks):

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.

Let the games begin!  Who might be important enough to feature in prime time just before Rubio’s nominating speech?  It won’t be former President George W. Bush, who will address the convention via video on Wednesday.  It won’t be his brother Jeb either, who’s already scheduled for Thursday evening.  The newest member of Augusta, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has a slot on Wednesday. Newt Gingrich has his slot on Thursday already set, and Rick Santorum will open the festivities later today.  Ron Paul will have a video presentation on Wednesday.

So who isn’t speaking at the convention?  Here are a few names:

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

Of these six (and there are more, but they don’t spring to mind), only Palin and Limbaugh would warrant the prime-time treatment and mystery-guest roll-out.  Herman Cain and Rick Perry would be brilliant in this forum, but they wouldn’t get a more choice slot than Gingrich or Santorum, who actually won delegates during the primary process, and that would be true of Bachmann, too.  Fred Thompson would also be a great speaker, but again, I can’t see him getting a slot ahead of current Republican office holders and rising stars in the GOP.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say that organizers made the arrangements for Palin weeks ago, and want to get the biggest splash possible with the mystery-guest treatment.  If so, they’ve done a good job remaining disciplined on that strategy.

Update: Allahpundit flagged this story to me, which might complicate matters for a Palin surprise:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who starred at the 2008 Republican National Convention and will skip this one, Tuesday morning offered her support to conservatives pressing for a floor fight over attempts by Mitt Romney’s allies to centralize control over the Republican Party. (Some of the parties appear to have reached a compromise in advance of Palin’s missive.)

“We have to remember that this election is not just about replacing the party in power. It’s about who and what we replace it with. Grassroots conservatives know this,” Palin said her Facebook posting. “Without the energy and wisdom of the grassroots, the GOP would not have had the historic 2010 electoral victories.”

Word yesterday was that this got resolved by all parties, so the controversy may be moot by now.  As for Rush Limbaugh, well, he does live and work in Florida …


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President George H. W. Bush

Brat on August 28, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Rush?

JellyToast on August 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Obama’s brother?

JellyToast on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Won’t be Sarah Palin. The woman is a polarizing, incompetent buffoon with loser written all over her, and the whole country knows it. Besides her band of clueless worshipers who post on sites like this, the only people who want Palin to speak are Dems who know she’s toxic and would hurt more than she helps.

Sarah Palin, please stick to your reality tv shows. You screwed up already in 2008, and we don’t need you to do it again this year.

bluegill on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Obama with an LBJ moment?

BobMbx on August 28, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Rush?

JellyToast on August 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Maybe Neal, but Geddy seems a little too far left to support a GOP candidate. Not sure about Alex.

CycloneCDB on August 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Won’t be Sarah Palin. The woman is a polarizing, incompetent buffoon with loser written all over her, and the whole country knows it. Besides her band of clueless worshipers who post on sites like this, the only people who want Palin to speak are Dems who know she’s toxic and would hurt more than she helps.

Sarah Palin, please stick to your reality tv shows. You screwed up already in 2008, and we don’t need you to do it again this year.

bluegill on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Ah yes, the lying hypocrite shows her true colors once again.

Yep. I call on Sarah Palin because she’s not running for anything and she would bring even more attention to calls for Akin to drop out. It would speed up the process. Don’t want Romney to have to constantly be asked about this stupidity.

Time for Mark Levin, Hannity, DeMint, Palin and others to speak out and say he should go and go now.

bluegill on August 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM

So. You denigrate and diminish Palin every chance you get, but here you are wanting her to do something and thinking she has influence?

Okay.

kim roy on August 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Don’t be ridiculous. I admire Palin and believe she can play an important role at times. She just should never be on a presidential ticket again.

Anyway, I just want as many people as possible to demand that Akin step down. Don’t want to blow our chances again this year in a state that should be an easy pick-up.

bluegill on August 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

#WAR

Flora Duh on August 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Well considering you stink like rotting fish, and can’t fill out my free HotAir T-shirt as nicely as Sarah does. I’ll just consider your comment more of the bitter baseless hatred of anything Conservative that your stench ridden a s s has always posted here. Oh, did I mention not many here like you. Matter of fact they dislike the stench you fill threads with almost as much as they hate your Romney Obama fluffing crap. You have done 0 for Conservatism, your post once again proves you lacking. Bread Ball?

Bmore on August 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I suppose it has to be an American oherwise Geert Wilders would be pretty awesome or Lord Christopher Monckton. Now that would be a surprise.

Buttercup on August 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Monica Lewinsky.

Oh, wait.

They’re saving her for 2016…

Bruno Strozek on August 28, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Generic Republican

rukiddingme on August 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

We cannot even get the GOP to settle on their opinion of her, and we want to use an appearance by Palin in primetime on Thursday to try and win over moderates and blue dog Dems to the Romney ticket?

Sure – let me know how that works out for ya’.

CycloneCDB on August 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM

You think the GOP is “settled” in its opinion of Romney? When is the GOP ever “settled” in its opinion of anybody? Look, you’re just afraid of what the media will say about Palin. P****whipped, in other words.

ddrintn on August 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Jon Lovitz.

Talking about how he IS paying his fiar share; and how hard it is to open a small business like a comedy club (which he owns) under this regulatory burden.

Keeping it funny, and economy focused.

Yeah I know, but a guy can dream can’t he?

gekkobear on August 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I seriously doubt that it will be Palin. She has been setting the stage to kick Romney’s ass WHEN he goes soft on reform. Corruption needs to combatted in this country BEFORE trust can be restored in the financial system, leading to expansion. We won’t see anything other than phony ” growth “, until TRUST is growing. If Romney can’t restore trust, the treatment of Bush, will seem the height of civility.

bigmike on August 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Won’t be Sarah Palin. The woman is a polarizing, incompetent buffoon with loser written all over her, and the whole country knows it. (snip)

bluegill on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

To speak to each of your points: In all actuality when Gov Palin speaks she is very inclusive and tends to bring those listening together with her enthusiasm. One pays attention. When one compares speakers, her ability to do that is not that common.

She isn’t incompetent, pretty self evident. When I think about all she has done in her life, along with the big family to care for, I feel amazed – imagining the constitution one must have to do all that.

As far as loser, that isn’t fair either. I really dislike that term applied to just about anyone. She has been very successful in politics and business, as well as family. As far as the 2008 loss, one loss does not a career make. That was a two person team, not just her. She did an awful lot of heavy lifting that run.

How can you fault someone who gave such an effort?

I am sad that this convention process wasn’t handled differently. If the GOP had begun this process with showing how much they valued her and her ability, the inclusive atmosphere would have been something to be part of.

LazyHips on August 28, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Rush?

JellyToast on August 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Nope, he already said on-air today it’s not him.

Del Dolemonte on August 28, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Think about this . . . Herman Cain, followed by Marco Rubio. That would actually make a nice combination — an in-your-face refutation of the vile and bogus insinuations of racism coming from MSNBC’s Chris Tingle and others.

Could also be Lieberman or perhaps Condi Rice, if foreign policy is intended to be the emphasis.

Or, how about Lech Walesa . . . Bibi would likely not be asked, or do it if he was. It might even backfire.

* * * * *

And, of course you also have to wonder who are the least likely candidates? That one would be easier.

Jimmy Carter, George McGovern . . . Michael Gorbachev, Raul Castro (Fidel is too sick to travel).

Trochilus on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

#WAR

Flora Duh on August 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM

With itself.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Sarah Palin, please stick to your reality tv shows. You screwed up already in 2008, and we don’t need you to do it again this year.

bluegill on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

.
Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!,
Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!, Sarah!,
Sarah!, Sarah! . . . . . . . . . . (repeat until the end of time)

listens2glenn on August 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

You think the GOP is “settled” in its opinion of Romney? When is the GOP ever “settled” in its opinion of anybody? Look, you’re just afraid of what the media will say about Palin. P****whipped, in other words.

ddrintn on August 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Uh – I think it’s been settled that Romney is on the ticket. So he kinda has to speak at the convention. We’re stuck with that guy. But, Palin – she’s not on the ticket, and nobody is under any obligation to put her on national TV during primetime as the face of the party. And she adds ZERO to the appeal of the party right now.

You know she’s spoken for and has a beau to defend her honor, right?

Sensitive much?

CycloneCDB on August 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Little gilled freak.

Bmore on August 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

After the delegate debacle this morning, not a dime to the GOP and I was just this close, to finally sending them money.

Since you are the titular head of the GOP, Mr. Romney, screw you too. You approved this sidelining of us Conservatives.

Mark Levin said Sarah is coming on his radio show at the bottom of the hour.

let’s see what she says on this issue.

Five whole days to feeling optimistic when Ryan was nominated and now, it’s been downhill since Akin. Meh!

Typicalwhitewoman on August 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Little gilled freak.

Bmore on August 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

u wan freke show, look at y3k n da priebus thred.

tom daschle concerned on August 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

tom daschle concerned on August 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Lol! Heading there now. ; )

Bmore on August 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Won’t be Sarah Palin. The woman is a polarizing, incompetent buffoon with loser written all over her, and the whole country knows it. Besides her band of clueless worshipers who post on sites like this, the only people who want Palin to speak are Dems who know she’s toxic and would hurt more than she helps.

Sarah Palin, please stick to your reality tv shows. You screwed up already in 2008, and we don’t need you to do it again this year.

bluegill on August 28, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I always suspected that bluegill was a Democratic Moby. I wasn’t convinced until now. There’s no reason to post something like that in the aftermath of a rules fight in which the Establishment kicked the grassroots in the teeth again unless you are trying to cause dissension and help Obama.

Which is what bluegill is trying to do. At some point, the mods will wake up and realize this.

Anyway, enough about the infiltrator.

It won’t be Palin, because Palin was against the Bushite Rules Change. This had little to do with Romney, I suspect, and a lot more to do with Jeb Bush’s ambitions. However, I wouldn’t put it past Romney to have come to an agreement with the Bushes to alter the rules to give the Establishment a hammerlock over the nominating process.

Palin’s job, going forward, is to look out for the public interest, as opposed to all those Romneybot hangers-on, who are eagerly attached to the Romney Campaign awaiting their turn at the trough.

victor82 on August 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Michele O? maybe?

VTWaldrup on August 28, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Corey Booker.

That would be game, set, match.

DarthBrooks on August 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Which is what bluegill is trying to do. At some point, the mods will wake up and realize this.

Anyway, enough about the infiltrator.

victor82 on August 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Don’t know why it’s so difficult for you to understand that not all conservatives bow down to and worship Sarah Palin. In fact, it has been shown time and again that most conservatives, while agreeing with Palin on most issues, don’t necessarily see her as a serious or particularly qualified leader.

Palin didn’t even finish a single term in office before quitting. She stumbles and reveals her incompetence and shallowness when she is put in challenging interview situations. She feeds off any kind of turmoil within conservative ranks, loving to offer herself as some kind of phony fighter of the so-called “establishment.”

Having said that, Palin can do good when she brings attention to lesser-known conservative candidates across the country. Still, we don’t want this woman seen as the face of conservatism or as the face of the Republican Party. Give me substantive conservatives like Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Romney/Ryan, etc. ANY DAY over a platitude-spewing Sarah Palin whose cutesy bash-the-GOP shtick is getting a little tiresome.

No, you Palin worshipers will not silence conservatives who refuse to hold up this woman as supposedly the only one who can save us all. Get real. Palin has many strengths, but she has plenty of liabilities, as well, and we should be honest about them.

bluegill on August 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM

bluegill on August 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Wasn’t going to let you have the last word on Palin in this thread, but reading over your last comment on her, I changed my mind. Your invective and supercilious filled bile comment should stand as a tribute to just how pathetic your rants regarding Palin are. Thank heaven Sarah Palin is larger, greater, stronger, more powerful and, thank God, more humble than you.

What a hypocritical, small minded person you are.

theotherone on August 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Thank heaven Sarah Palin is larger, greater, stronger, more powerful and, thank God, more humble than you.
What a hypocritical, small minded person you are.

theotherone on August 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM

You launch into a vicious personal attack because someone merely stated the common knowledge that most conservatives, while in agreement with Palin on many issues and sympathetic with her about the unfair media coverage she has received, nevertheless don’t see Palin as one of the more serious, qualified or competent leaders for conservatism or the Republican Party. Palin also seems to thrive on division within our party. Let’s be honest about that and quit holding her up as some deity.

If you Palin worshipers only want to hear “Sarah Palin is amazing” 24/7, then maybe you should stick to hanging out in Sarah Palin fan club forums.

bluegill on August 29, 2012 at 2:56 AM

luegill on August 29, 2012 at 2:56 AM

I repeat, you are a small minded little person, and you have not the tenth of the courage and strength of Sarah Palin.

You like yourself and the sound of your pontificating ‘waaaay too much, my dear.

theotherone on August 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM

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