Convention planners reveal some supporting actors will end up on the cutting room floor but that Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush will keep their roles Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, Isaac willing.
Not exactly Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel and Leslie Howard, but then again producers won’t have to torch back lots to simulate special effects like the burning of Atlanta.
Nature is giving the Republican Convention unexpected suspense, but beyond the official site, political artistry is still hard at work on behalf of the uninvited, unwanted and unwelcome.
To spare Tampa first responders, Joe Biden will not be there as planned to make faces at the delegates from outside the hall, but Herman Cain is already on hand to rally diehard Tea Party addicts who did not get enough of 9-9-9 before “lies and dirty politics” distracted them. “It’s not about me,” Cain tells them, “it’s about the grandkids.”
Former GOP Florida Gov. Charlie Christ has left his calling card, a local OpEd endorsing Barack Obama and excoriating his own party for being “pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people.”
Ron Paul addresses Libertarians in Tampa, rallying them to resist Republican orthodoxy without endorsing the ticket. “Seems to me,” he tells a cheering crowd, “they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party,” but he refuses to give them what they want.
Other fringe Scarlett O’Haras are in the wings, but the GOP’s shrunken version of Rhett Butler this year is in no position to tell them he doesn’t give a damn.
Update: Waiting for weather reports, GOP delegates ruminate about “forging a post-Bush identity.”
From the musty past Dan Quayle and George Pataki worry that “the big tent with principles” is turning into a hotbed of “antigovernment,” but the new generation shrugs off their concern.
It’s all a “transition,” says one of them, “the Senate is like a country club and the House is like having a breakfast at a truck stop.”
Where the drivers are drunk on power, brawling in the parking lot and going nowhere.