Having a mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention was a nice touch for the delegates and for committed Republicans planning to view the convention at home, and many of us had fun guessing who that speaker would be. But surely the bigger priority for the Party was to maximize the television audience for Thursday night. Listing Clint Eastwood as a scheduled speaker would have served this objective better than the mystery speaker approach.
So why didn’t the Republicans announce that Eastwood was to speak?
Maybe they weren’t confident he would show up, and had a back-up in place. Maybe they were still negotiating the terms of his appearance, such as their ability to review his content in advance (if so, Eastwood seems to have out-negotiated them). Maybe they were negotiating with someone else and Eastwood was the back-up, although this strikes me as unlikely.
I can only speculate. Maybe some of our readers can do better.