Democratic National Convention: Will Betty White Pull a Clint Eastwood?

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Hey, it worked on Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels. Maybe it'll work on Barack Obama as well.

A 2010 petition drive of Betty White fans on Facebook persuaded the SNL guru to give the Golden Girl a hosting gig on the venerable comedy show. Now, a similar petition drive seeks to get her the privilege of introducing the president before his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday -- much as fellow old-timer Clint Eastwood did for GOP nominee Mitt Romney at last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

A Facebook page entitled "Bring Betty White to the DNC" currently has more than 30,000 fans. And more than 9,000 people have signed a petition at Change.org under the heading "Democrats: Ask Betty White to Introduce President Obama at the DNC."

The Betty White drive is only part of the effort to bring the Democratic convention in line with last week's Republican gathering in terms of star power, unexpected comedy and offbeat appearances by Hollywood legends.

Eastwood's surprise appearance before Romney's speech last Thursday turned out to be a highlight of the convention, though perhaps less for the actor/director's iconic presence than for the 82-year-old's rambling argument with an empty chair -- a moment that drew both admiration and ridicule.

"Clint Eastwood, the Republican's 'mystery guest' at the RNC, gave a bad name to older Americans everywhere with his absurd and awkward-to-watch introduction of Governor Romney," reads the pro-Betty White petition. "You know what? Governor Romney can have Clint Eastwood and his improvisational skills because President Obama has the one and only Betty White!"

White, 90, endorsed President Obama in May, though the Hot in Cleveland star has given no hint that she's planning to come to Charlotte this week. (Nor have convention organizers hinted that they'd use her or any other non-politician to introduce the president.) Concludes the petition, "Take action today if you want to see a real [old] Hollywood icon get a political introduction right!"

White's not the only Hollywood comic performer being enlisted for the Democrats' convention in Charlotte, N.C. this week.

Kal Penn, who famously quit his dramatic role on House to work for the Obama White House, will be hosting the Democrats' online livestream of the final night of the convention on Thursday. The announcement of his one-night gig was made in a campaign video released Monday, featuring Penn, his Harold & Kumar co-star John Cho, and his former boss, who phones Penn from the Oval Office while Penn and Cho are satisfying their munchies with pizza. (What, no White Castle sliders?)

Penn and singer Ledisi are both slated to appear on stage at the convention on Tuesday night. Actress Eva Longoria may address the convention later this week. And many other stars are expected in Charlotte this week (see the gallery at the top of this article), though most will be attending private concerts and fundraisers, just as many stars did last week at the GOP convention.

Should Betty White be the DNC's answer to Clint Eastwood? Sound off below.

 

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