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In bold sentence, What does pronoun it refer to??

LEWIS: [...] But what he's done with Orleans and Barbary Coast and Santa Fe, and everything he touches, he works for the people in the community. He loves his people in his town.

KING: Vegas.

LEWIS: And he does everything to give them pleasure.

Well, when I played the first engagement for Michael, he said, "You know, the local people here are so thrilled that somebody that lives among them wants to come and perform for them." I said, "Michael, let's arrange it that they have it the rest of their life." Well, he took this thought and put it together in a contract and offered it to me. He said, "Can we do this?" I said, "If the numbers are right, you got me."

Source: CNN Transcript - Larry King Live: Jerry Lewis Discusses Hosting His 50th Telethon

Can it be paraphrased as "let's arrange it (the situation) that they have it the rest of their life."??

  • 1
    To me, the first it (in arrange it) is similar to the dummy it in make it in another question of yours, and as StoneyB said, you might think of it as "things-in-general" or "the world situation" or "the way things are". The other it refers back to "somebody that lives among them coming and performing for them". – Damkerng T. May 27 '15 at 15:01
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The whole text is not a good example of well-written English...

But to answer your question, it refers to that somebody that lives among them [...] come and perform for them.

Let's arrange [that they have somebody that lives among them come and perform for them] (so) that they have [somebody that lives among them come and perform for them] the rest of their life.

A simpler way of forming the sentence would be:

Michael, let's make sure they can have this (a local guy performing for them) forever.

You asked also

Can it be paraphrased as "let's arrange it (the situation) that they have it the rest of their life."?

That is hardly a paraphrase... you just added "the situation" in parentheses. Yes, "the situation" is what "it" refers to, twice. But I thought you were confused as to what that situation was.

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It does not really refer to anything, but in this context it means that he will give the person something (money, a well-paid job) so that they will not have to worry about finances for the rest of his/her life.

  • Can it be paraphrased as "let's arrange it (the situation) that they have it the rest of their life."?? – Rok Sim May 27 '15 at 14:13
  • What finances are you talking about? It's about people liking a local guy performing for them. If that guy gets a nice contract, he will be able to do that forever, and that way, people always have that thing they like: a local guy that sings for them. – oerkelens May 27 '15 at 14:13

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