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August 28, 2012

More Guesses At Mystery Speaker: Nancy Reagan, Colin Powell, Joe Manchin, Clint Eastwood, and... Tim Tebow

Jeeze Louise, now that they've officially made it A Thing it had better be somebody.

For this to be A Thing, the surprise has to have two dimensions:

1, it's not a guy you'd expect at the Convention. This is the easier hurdle to, um, hurdle.

2, it's not a guy you'd expect to endorse Romney.

If 2 isn't in the mix, then this is not A Thing, and we're going to sort of be let down. It would be a case of putting out a mystery but not having a satisfying resolution.

A lot of the guesses satisfy 1 but not 2.

Among the people I don't think it is, or I hope it's not, given the expectations now stoked:

1. Nancy Reagan. Not really a big surprise. Yes, it's nice to see her. Odds of this being A Big Thing? Pretty low. Doesn't satisfy hurdle 2.

2. Rush Limbaugh. I just don't see it. Rush has 40 million listeners but a lot of non-listeners, too. And doesn't satisfy hurdle 2.

3. Joe Lieberman. The days in which I cared what Joementum was up to have passed me. Satisfies hurdle 1 and 2, but barely, and I just don't care.

4. Colin Powell. Another one I just don't care about. And in Colin Powell's endorsement of Bush in 2000 (I think), he chided the party and the assembled delegates. An endorsement from Colin Powell is an insult from most other people.

5. Jon Voight. We all know where Jon Voight stands. Does not satisfy hurdle 2.

6. Tim Tebow. We can guess where he stands. Doesn't satisfy hurdle 2. In addition, I'm not sure if this would even be A Thing. Tebow is popular among people already inclined to vote against Obama. Plus, let's think about this: Tebow is the second-string quarterback on a team which is offensively impotent.

After his endorsement, he has to play the NFL season. I don't expect it to go well -- turning a prominent endorsement into something of a joke, if the Jets continue being the Jets (which, of course, they are always cursed to be).

People it could be (assuming this is actually A Thing and not just a mistaken case of elevated expectations):

1. Joe Manchin. Guy could switch parties on the spot. Would be A Thing.

2. Clint Eastwood. Doubtful as hell, because Clint Eastwood has always been a pretty standoffish guy as far as politics. Sure, he'll opine now and then, but he's never made a spectacle of himself in politics.

3. Gary Sinise. Sinise is believed (by who? Shut up, it's the media's passive voice trick) to be a conservative Republican who shuns making a spectacle about it, like Eastwood. He limits his public, prominent "political" activity to supporting the troops. (Which is something that should not be political, but it is.) (Updated: He maxed out to McCain in 2008, I'm told, so I added "public, prominent" to "political activity" as a caveat.)

Now, some believe there is tension in Sinise (who's "some"? Again, shut up) about what he owes his occupation -- being a crowd-pleasing actor -- and what he owes the country about adding his voice to the debate. So, who knows. Perhaps he's rethought this, and maybe he has enough F-U money from CSI: New York he doesn't care as much.

Even though it is generally suspected that Sinise leans right, it's not actually known for a stone-cold fact, so this would satisfy hurdle 2. At least among the general population.

4. Douglas Wilder. I like this one a lot. It would explain his appearance at the Ryan fundraiser, and then sudden disappearance of this story from the news, as if the Romney folks also wanted to keep it under wraps so they let the "wrong hotel" story propagate.

5. Sarah Palin. I actually could sort of see this one. Doesn't satisfy hurdle 2, but would be such a risky maneuver it would be worthy of the mystery.

Why could I see this? Two reasons: First, she gives a dynamite convention speech.

Second, she can ask: Was I right? Should the presidency be a "voyage of self-discovery"? (Obama's chief discovery: I'm not fit to be President.)

That said, this is a big gamble, as Palin has so much baggage, and is the media's favorite whipping boy (well, lady). But Romney seems to be into doing risky things lately.

I don't think this will happen. Her negatives are still extremely high. But it could happen (I guess), and it would be a big enough thing to be A Thing.

Update: Adam Carrolla? Via Christopher Taylor. I don't know if he's big enough.

Someone else mentions Arthur Davis. Well, that one's already baked in the cake. No surprise there.

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posted by Ace at 03:03 PM

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