So far, the RNC has listed the schedule for the first two days of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. The speakers list offers an impressive slate of rising Republican stars, and an ideological mix of tea party conservatives and establishment moderates (thankfully, more of the former than the latter). Of note is the impressive diversity of the speakers and stars, a result of the notable changing-of-the-guard following the 2009 tea party revolution. Gone are the days when the Republican establishment hand-picked candidates from a long-standing list of approved and safe "good old boys," to borrow a phrase from Sarah Palin. Let's take a look at what Americans tuning in will have to look forward to.
Monday, Aug 27thAnn Romney, "candidate" for First Lady is the opening night headliner and will close out the ceremonies on Monday night. Ann has been described as Mitt's "secret weapon" and this will be her first major introduction to the American people. Tea Party sensations Ted Cruz, a clear favorite to be the next US Senator from Texas, US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will also speak on opening night.
Artur Davis recently joined the Republican Party after being an early supporter for Barack Obama and 2008 convention speaker. Davis highlights one of the many defections of moderate Democrats since the enactment of Obama's far-left policies. House Speaker John Boehner, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and the surprisingly-effective chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, are other high-profile speakers on opening night. Full Monday's speakers list is here.
Tuesday, Aug. 28th Speakers
Tuesday night is theme night at the RNC and the GOP will bring out the big guns in their "We Built It" campaign while continuing to hammer away at Obama's "you didn't build that" comments. It has been well over a month since Obama made those campaign-defining comments, and we predicted it will be a major theme throughout the campaign. So far it has led to very effective messaging for team Romney. Many of the night's speakers will be joined by small business-owners who might have a thing or two to add to the argument.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the Keynote Speaker and the "feature event" for Tuesday night. Christie probably turns this into a must-watch night, and is abrasive, no-nonsense style has turned him into a popular figure both in his state and nationwide (though, perhaps, less so with the grassroots conservatives). Fellow Governors Bob McDonnell (VA), Susanna Martinez (NM), Scott Walker (WI), Bobby Jindal (LA), Mary Fallin (OK), and John Kasich (OH) will also speak along with US Senator Kelly Ayotte of NH and former presidential nomination rival Rick Santorum. Another highlight for conservatives will be the first national speaking engagement of Mia B. Love, a black Mormon mayor in Utah aiming to take out a "moderate" Democrat in a Republican state. Full Tuesday list is here.
Wednesday and Thursday
We don't know the exact list of the speakers for the final two nights, but we do know that soon-to-be VP nominee Paul Ryan will obviously headline on Wednesday night while Mitt Romney will headline on Thursday. We also know that Mitt Romney will be introduced by US Senator Marco Rubio, who was also widely considered a favorite for the VP nomination. Dr. Condoleezza Rice and John McCain will also speak at some point, as well as a number of other speakers that are yet to be announced.
So far, the list of speakers acknowledges and respects the strength of the tea party movement and the speakers list is dominated by tea party congressman, senators, and governors from the classes of 2009-2012. A few establishment Republicans are sprinkled in, but the reality is that the 2012 convention will offer American voters a solid look at the new Republican Party.