Obama Campaign Managers Say There Will Be No Chair References, 'Gimmicks' During Acceptance Speech
Speaking during the Newsmakers Live panel at the Democratic National Convention, Stephanie Cutter and David Plouffe also admit that the president did not authorize "This Seat’s Taken" tweet.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Following Clint Eastwood's headline-making speech at the Republican National Convention, speculation has swirled surrounding the surprise speaker that will announce President Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Speaking at the Newsmakers Live panel, hosted by ABC News and Yahoo! News, Obama's campaign managers kept mum on their guest. Asked who would introduce the president Thursday, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter quipped, "Not Clint Eastwood."
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Eastwood generated buzz last week when he performed a one-sided conversation with an invisible Obama, represented onstage by an empty chair. The president's campaign responded in kind by tweeting a photo of Obama seated in a chair with the line, "This seat's taken."
Joined in Charlotte by campaign manager David Plouffe and press secretary Ben LaBolt, Cutter also said Obama will not use a chair as a prop when he officially accepts his nomination. "No gimmicks," said Cutter.
Asked whether Obama had authorized the aforementioned tweet, Plouffe admitted that it was the campaign managers who were "having a bit of fun" with the post.
"When the president authorizes a tweet, it says BO. If it doesn't say BO, it's the campaign," he said, acknowledging that they, like so many other users, like to keep their social media pages fun and interesting.
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As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, the DNC is expected to provide several star sightings despite concerns of potentially overshadowing the president. And though George Clooney has said definitively that he will not be in attendance, many Charlotte locals have been buzzing about a "Where's George Clooney?" app, which is said to provide the actor's purported whereabouts inside the Queen City.
Among those who are confirmed to be in attendance this week are Eva Longoria, Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Russell Simmons, will.i.am, Flo Rida, Jessica Alba, Cash Warren, Ashley Judd, Marc Anthony, Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zach Braff and Alexis Bledel, among others.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci