The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa has been rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Isaac in the area. Originally slated to kick off today, party chairman Reince Priebus will instead call to order the festivities and immediately call a recess. Events and speeches planned for today are scheduled to resume Tuesday at 2pm.
Some notably established and rising-star Republicans are expected, such as Speaker John Boehner, Senator John McCain, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senator Marco Rubio, and Governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal.
What perhaps is more telling are the people who are not speaking.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been omitted from the lineup, as well as former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Representative Michele Bachmann, considered at one time a rising-star of the Tea Party movement, will also be excluded. Bachmann’s recent accusations against Huma Abedin, aide to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, as well as Cantor’s perceived obstruction in the debt ceiling debate last summer, appears to have made them too risky for this year’s lineup.
The two boldest choices for this year’s convention are outspoken New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who successfully staved off a recall election in June over his controversial union bill. Senator Rand Paul, son of Texas congressman Ron Paul and self-described libertarian, is the closest thing to a third-party politician present. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is the lone Democrat.
The glitz and glam that celebrities bring is also absent this year. Janine Turner and Beau Davidson are the only speakers from the entertainment industry – bolstering the small-town, anti-Hollywood, middle-America message established by the McCain-Palin camp last election season.
As is evidenced by his choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, it remains to be seen whether this convention’s objective will be fulfilled: relinquishing conservative fears, dating back to the Republican primaries, of Mitt Romney’s ability to ignite the conservative base.