Ann Romney, Gov. Christie & The Roll Call: Today's Convention Highlights
Good morning from Tampa where the Isaac-delayed Republican National Convention is set to get going for real this afternoon.
It's going to be a busy day for the GOP once the delegates are called to order at 2 p.m. ET. Here are some highlights from the schedule:
-- Some Dissent? After the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem and the invocation, there's a chance one of the first things to happen will be at least a bit of an old-fashioned floor fight. Supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul aren't expected to get anywhere with their objections to new rules that would give Republican presidential candidates more say over who does and doesn't get to be a delegate. But as NPR's Ron Elving wrote earlier, they should at least be able to cause a murmur of dissent, if not a roar.
-- The Roll Call. In the late afternoon, delegates will take care of the one big order of business for every convention — officially nominating their candidates for president and vice president. The roll call is set to wrap up before 6:40 p.m. ET. There's no mystery, of course. It will be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for vice president.
-- Rick Santorum. The last major challenger to Romney's bid to be the party's presidential nominee is scheduled to speak to the delegates in the 7 p.m. ET hour. He was a forceful voice for some of the party's most conservative members during the primaries.
-- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Faced with a recall vote after he angered public unions by pushing to restrict their collective bargaining rights, the freshman governor prevailed. He's a hero to many in the party. He'll be at the podium in the 8 p.m. ET hour.
-- Former Rep. Artur Davis. Four years ago it was Sen. Joe Lieberman who played the role of a former Democrat coming into the Republican den to tell the nation why he's supporting the GOP ticket. This time it will be former Alabama Congressman Davis. He's scheduled to speak in the 9 p.m. ET hour.
-- Ann Romney: The presidential contender's wife, who political pundits say is his best spokesperson, will talk to the nation about her husband in the 10 p.m. ET. hour. And it's just possible that Mitt Romney may make an appearance in the hall. He's going to be in Tampa at least briefly today, before leaving to do a little more campaigning around the nation in advance of Thursday's acceptance speech.
-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Remember the Democratic convention in 2004 when a little-known state senator from Illinois named Barack Obama gave the keynote address and put himself into the national conversation? Christie is better known than Obama was then. But he's also known as one of his party's most passionate — and at times funny — speakers. His keynote address in the last hour before adjournment is a must-see for political junkies.
Adjournment: 11 p.m. ET (or a bit later if things get off schedule — but GOP conventions of late have tended to run on time).