The Campaign Spot

A Mystery Speaker for Thursday? . . . Could It Be . . . Her?

From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt, now in the hands of the editors, and soon on its way to you . . .

A Mystery Speaker for Thursday?

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, last night, 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 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.