Republican Convention: Day 2
Today marks the second official day of the Republican National Convention, but the first where anything of significance happens. Mitt Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said, “if it doesn’t happen in prime time, it doesn’t happen.” That being the case, it’s a good thing yesterday’s activities were canceled; the networks said they weren’t going to carry the prime time speeches anyway, which would have left First Lady hopeful Ann Romney effectively on the cutting room floor. Now she gets a prime time slot tonight.
Representative Ron Paul (R-Port Jackson, TX) will not be speaking at this convention, despite having a significant number of delegates (who may not be seated). He refused to endorse presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, though, and wouldn’t allow his speech to be vetted by Romney’s crew, so he was denied a speaking slot. Instead, a speech has essentially been grafted onto him, in the form of a video “tribute” to Ron Paul, to be shown tomorrow.
Yesterday’s theme was to be “We can do better,” ostensibly to suggest that we can have a better President than Barack Obama. They’re probably right (though it’s much harder to believe that the Republican slate qualifies), but there are a few other worthy interpretations that come out of that theme. For example, the Republican Party should have been able to do better than Mitt Romney as their choice to run against Obama. This election was theirs to lose, and the Crazy Eight candidates running against Romney in the primaries only served to highlight how badly they were blowing their golden opportunity. We can also do better than to continue to send no-compromise representation to the Capitol. If we want results — any results — we need to be able to hammer out compromises.
Yesterday’s theme will now be woven into the remaining three days of the convention. Today’s theme is “We built it,” an obvious reference to the “You didn’t build that” meme. There’s a pretty long list of speakers today, and I believe this is the actual order (though there may be last-minute shuffles):
7:00 PM EDT
- House Speaker John Boehner
- Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus
- Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor Mia Love, who Monotreme told us in April is running to represent the fourth congressional district in Congress
- Janine Turner, actress and Tea Party activist
- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who was the runner-up in the Elephant Stampede.
- Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane, WA)
8:00 PM EDT
- Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who will be accompanied by Jack Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating
- Ohio Governor John Kasich
- Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
9:00 PM EDT
- Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
- Delaware Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate Sher Valenzuela
- Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas
- Former Representative Artur Davis (D-Birmingham)
- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
10:00 PM EDT
- Puerto Rico First Lady Lucé Vela Fortuño
- Ann Romney
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who will be the keynote speaker
There are a lot of Governors speaking today, so I’d expect there to be an underlying current of “states’ rights”. Sher Valenzuela, a small business owner, and Jack Gilchrist will almost certainly be driving home the “I built that” meme. Kelly Ayotte, Mary Fallin, Nikki Haley, Lucé Vela, and Mia Love should all be expected to defend charges of a Republican “war on women”. Ted Cruz, Sher Valenzuela, and Lucé Vela Fortuño will probably aim for Hispanic voters. And we can be sure to hear anti-union sentiments from John Kasich and Scott Walker, both of whom have been in the middle of union battles since Obama’s election.
As you can see above, official festivities won’t start until 7:00 PM EDT. Nobody has committed to running the whole gavel-to-gavel show on any network, so the activities from 2:00 to 7:00, including the roll call votes for President and Vice President at around 6:00, will be seen by very few people. The major news networks will show the evening events, but ABC, NBC, and CBS broadcast networks will show only one hour, from 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM EDT, on each day. The plan, then, is for 19 speakers in four hours, or an average of 12 minutes, 38 seconds each. One can’t say much in that little time.
We’ll be around to watch and discuss the festivities as they happen tonight. As always, we’d love to have you join us, and join in on the discussion. Meantime, while we wait, what do you think we’re going to hear tonight?
- UPDATE: RNC Announces Modified Three-Day Convention Schedule (conservativeread.com)
- The RNC is missing a spine!!! (marklabriola.com)
- Who’s Speaking at the RNC and Who, Notably, Isn’t (pjmedia.com)
- Kasich to speak at GOP convention (toledoblade.com)