I tried to avoid watching much of the political conventions, as I usually do, because the drama was stripped away from them long ago. I’d say that they’re more like beauty pageants, but at least beauty pageants have an element of suspense.

Conventions can be more aptly described as carefully scripted coronations.

And since you know where each side stands on the issues anyway, there’s very little to be learned by these well-staged events.

My wife, who watched more of them than I did, pointed out that a few of the speakers looked like game show hosts, which reminded me of this song by Sting.

In this context, I’d have to put Joe Biden at the top of the stack. He would be a natural, standing on stage in front of the game board joking with the contestants and reading questions off cue cards. A peck on the cheek as he greets the female players, a la Richard Dawson.

A close second would be Mitt Romney, but I can’t quite put my finger on which show he’d be most appropriate for. Maybe he could revive Let’s Make A Deal, the 1960s-1970s hit where people showed up dressed as turnips, toothbrushes, or a can of fruit cocktail.

Or, you could make an argument for The Newlywed Game, because Mitt can banter with the best of them and he looks a little bit like Bob Eubanks.

Except that I don’t think Mitt could ever bring himself to ask: “Folks, where is the strangest place you ever made whoopee?”

I might go with Hollywood Squares though because then Mitt could question a panel of other politicians who would crack jokes about the deficit, tax rates and bank bailouts.

Sorry, but I don’t see the same game show host qualities in Barack Obama or Paul Ryan. All four candidates, however, are kind of like Bob Barker because don’t forget the title of his great show: Truth or Consequences.

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The only real off-script event during the conventions was the appearance of Clint Eastwood at the GOP bash in Tampa. I was amazed to hear so much criticism of this Tinseltown Titan, who has put together some of the greatest movies of the past three decades.

Anyone who can produce, and star in, an outstanding film like Unforgiven (1992) automatically deserves respect.

Going out on stage and doing a mostly ad-lib bit with an empty chair took a lot of guts and Clint pulled it off like a pro. The nitpicking and sniping the next day, by members of both political parties, reminded me why politics is so uninspiring these days.

Not that I necessarily agree with Clint’s political ideas, mind you, but talent is talent. A rare highlight of the otherwise stodgy, money-soaked, rotton-egg-tossing 2012 political season.

Photo: Let’s Make A Deal via Wikimedia Commons

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