Mystery RNC speaker: Will Clint Eastwood make Republicans feel lucky?
The Oscar-winning actor and director, who recently endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is the likeliest suspect, with a party source telling Fox News Eastwood is the mystery speaker. Other names floated include 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow -- although the Jets have a preseason game scheduled for Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Speculation about the mystery speaker started swirling earlier in the week with the inclusion of a "TBA" speaker on Thursday night's schedule, in between a performance by former "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks and a speech by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who will introduce Romney to the crowd in Tampa.
Eastwood is a long-time Republican supporter, but he stirred up some controversy earlier this year by appearing in a Super Bowl ad for Chrysler. Some observers read the ad as an implicit endorsement of the auto-industry bailout of 2008-09 that bridged the end of the Bush and beginning of the Obama administrations.
Eastwood -- or whoever the mystery speaker turns out to be -- will take the stage between 9 and 10 p.m. ET Thursday.