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Monday, October 24, 2016

Clint Eastwood’s infamous “empty chair” routine defined the 2012 Republican National Convention, but if one powerful Republican group had gotten its way, Eastwood would not have been the most famous face at the widely-panned event.

Susan Ferrechio of The Washington Examiner reports that documents filed with a lawsuit from Republican fundraising group the American Action Network reveal that the dark-money group offered Lady Gaga $1 million dollars to perform at the ill-fated convention.

According to the documents, Pete Meachum — who serves as the American Action Network’s director of development, and is currently chief of staff to Tea Party favorite and former Real World star Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) — hoped to incentivize the mega-pop star to accept the offer by instructing the booking company to tell her staff that she’d be performing at an event “honoring women who run for public office,” and to “tell them that $150,000 will go towards a domestic violence shelter.”

Lady Gaga — born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — declined, presumably due to her outspoken support for gay rights, immigration reform, Barack Obama, and just about everything else that the Republican convention spent several days attacking.

Lady Gaga was not the only celebrity to turn the GOP down; according to the documents, country star Dolly Parton and rapper Pitbull also declined offers to join Mitt Romney’s underwhelming roster of celebrity supporters by performing at the convention. Republicans reportedly hoped to have Pitbull, who is of Cuban descent, perform at an event for the Hispanic Leadership Network.

The episode is a perfect example of the GOP’s continuing struggle to expand its tent by reaching out to women, minorities, and other groups that have supported Democrats over the past several elections. As the Republican National Committee’s 2012 “autopsy” makes clear, the party believes that it needs only to change its messaging to these groups, not its policies.

Could Pitbull have saved Romney from being drubbed by 44 percent among Hispanic voters by performing “Culo” or “Sticky Icky” at his nominating convention? We’ll never know. But that is essentially the exact same strategy that the party is still pursuing now, as it tries to chart a path back to national contention.

Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • old_blu

    That’s funny so what do they get instead old rich white guys (that talk to chairs) just what I thought they were.

    • lana ward

      I can’t understand why they would invite such a scank. She’s a man anyway

      • old_blu

        I almost agree I might not say “skank” just because I don’t like the word. But they are not trying to appeal to people our age lana they were trying to get the young crowd I haven’t been in the young crowd for a long time, and I make assumptions about you, I hope I didn’t offend you.

        • lana ward

          I remember my dad didn’t like Elvis Presley. If he were alive, he’d have a heart attack over this rap crap, and all these other loser “singers”

          • old_blu

            Yeah I don’t much like the rap crap myself, but then my Dad didn’t like what I listened to as well. I think we are just moving on even our hot rods back then looked like stink bugs now the lower the better. : ))

          • lana ward

            Most of the kids back then were decent. These kids now, you wouldn’t dare to turn your back on. They are frightening!!

          • old_blu

            Yeah with the piercings and tats they can be pretty scary looking for sure, although I have a tattoo. (above the tee shirt line)

          • lana ward

            I told my son, If God wanted you to have a tattoo you would have been born with one—he got one anyway 🙂

          • old_blu

            I hope you are doing good as well lana.

          • lana ward

            It will be 2 years May 12 since Brad was murdered. I miss him more as time goes on, but I am coping better. My other son, not so well. But thank you

  • John Pigg

    I really find it insulting, especially as a conservative, that the GOP seems to think all they need to offer me as a youth voter is some pop culture.

    You don’t court the youth vote by booking acts, you do it by actually having a platform that makes sense. You want back my conservative vote? Raise taxes, cut the military budget, and end the war on drugs.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Mr. Piggy:

      If Pigg is really you’re last name, you are certainly well-named.

      • tobyspeeks

        Stick to financial advice. It’s obvious you have nothing else to offer this world. And quit up-voting yourself.

      • John Pigg

        That is my last name. I can honestly say that I have met anyone who has ever forgotten my name. Which reading it might not seem all that impressive, but it never ceases to amaze me how useful a unique last name can be.

  • JDavidS

    Nothing could have saved that less-than-dynamic duo of Romney/Ryan. Mitt’s a twit but Ryan is a scumbag beneath contempt.