7:15 am ET
Convention planners had assumed the Hollywood legend would reprise the powerful and typically gruff/charming performance he delivered at the beginning of August when he showed up out of the blue at a Romney fundraiser in Idaho and said he was backing the Republican.
Romney aides played down the impact Eastwood’s odd turn might have on Tampa’s positive impact, but they acknowledge that the empty-chair monologue came as a complete surprise to them. They simply turned the podium over to an iconic superstar and expected him to stand and deliver.
Imagine if the 10 pm ET hour had included the moving live testimonials from some of the people Romney has touched, leading into the extraordinarily well-produced campaign video intended to further humanize the candidate, leading into Romney’s speech. It is true that in recent years, the broadcast networks have balked at airing “propaganda” videos, but in this case, my educated guess is that this video would have made it onto most channels.