Rand Paul, other fresh faces to speak at RNC
The Republican National Committee has announced the first list of speakers for its national convention set to take place at the end of the month in Tampa, Florida. There are a couple of familar faces in GOP circles, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, and Condoleezza Rice, who served as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.
The list also has some relatively new faces, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Some conservatives, such as Seth Mandel at Commentary Magazine, are saying that this list is a “mix of rising stars” that has an advantage over what Democrats are offering at their national convention, which will be held next month in Charlotte, North Carolina:
This is a mix of rising stars (Martinez, Haley), popular party figures (Rice, McCain, Kasich), and the obvious home-stater (Scott). These are not the names conservatives are lining up to hear, though Huckabee should be considered an exception. The former Arkansas governor’s great talent has always been communication–just contrast the tone of coverage Huckabee tends to receive from the notoriously socially liberal press with that of Rick Santorum. As important as evangelicals are to GOP get-out-the-vote efforts, Huckabee could be an important campaign surrogate for a candidate many social conservatives are still unsure about.
Otherwise, the Democratic convention is the subject of far more chatter, and appropriately so. In addition to the high-profile role Bill Clinton will play, Politico has a story today examining the risk of giving Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren a prime-time speech. Warren’s candidacy has been mired in controversy since news broke that Warren apparently listed herself as a minority to exploit quota hiring in academia by claiming Native American heritage she has been unable–and unwilling–to confirm.
Perhaps even more damaging, however, is that Warren popularized the “you didn’t build that” line of argument that was picked up by President Obama in an attempt to praise government that seemed to sneer at business owners. (Obama has said that his words were taken out of context, but arguably the worst part of his remarks were what came before the infamous lines, when he said, in a mocking tone: “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.”)
Republicans will also luck out by the prominence–or lack thereof–given to potential Democratic presidential candidates for the 2016 cycle. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, expected to be a serious contender in four years, is practically avoiding the entire convention rather than use the free media as a launching pad. But it gets even better for Republicans: In what has to have GOP 2016 contenders practically giddy, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is still, amazingly enough, talking about running for president in 2016. He will have a speaking role at the convention, and is also chairing the rules committee.
But noticeably absent from the list of speakers is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who, along with his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), has played an important role in the Republican resurgence in the last few years.
There was some speculation that Rand Paul may not get the green light to speak at the convention, but that appears to have been silenced this morning according to Reuters (via Reason) that he will indeed get a speaking role in Tampa.
The younger Paul, who was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, has been impressive during his first couple of years on the national stage. He hasn’t just represented his state well, but also, given his Tea Party ties, has worked hard to keep his party accountable. Moreover, he has showed himself to be a team player, endorsing Mitt Romney for president as his father’s presidential prospects faded away.
It was reported yesterday that the elder Paul has not been invited to speak at the GOP convention. While many in the Liberty Movement are upset about this, the revelation isn’t surprising for a few reasons.
Firstly, even though the talk of a floor fight over the platform has dissipated in recent weeks, many Republicans still find themselves scared to death of Ron Paul’s supporters and what “threat” they may be. Secondly, Paul’s brand of conservatism, which promotes federalism, ending the Federal Reserve, and opposition to war, doesn’t blend well with the Republican establishment.
Perhaps the most important and most obvious reason why Ron Paul will not speak at the Republican National Committee is because he hasn’t endorsed Romney for president and, based on public statements, it doesn’t appear that he has any intention of doing so. Even if the other points didn’t apply, like it or not, this is the one reason that Paul will not speak at the convention.