Today at the Republican National Convention
2 p.m. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Color Guard Knights of Columbus, Pledge of Allegiance by former Govs. Tim Babcock of Montana, and Tom Hogan of Florida. National Anthem sung by Philip Alongi, Invocation by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik. Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees. Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries. Speakers: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, D-Fla. William Harris, convention chief executive officer. Al Austin, chairman of Tampa Bay host committee. Republican congressional candidates: State Del. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., Republican Senate candidates: Republican National Committee auxiliaries.
Consideration of convention committee reports: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Mike Duncan, chairman, Committee on Credentials, Zoraida Fonalledas, chairwoman, Committee on Permanent Organization, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, convention permanent chairman
Official Convention Photograph
Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu. Committee on Resolutions Chairman Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.,
Roll call for nomination of vice president of the United States
6:40 p.m.: Recess
- 7 p.m.: Reconvene:
- 8 p.m.: Remarks by U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., accompanied by Jack Gilchrist, Remarks by Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, Remarks by Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., Remarks by Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., accompanied by Bev Gray, Remarks by Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis.
- 9 p.m.: Remarks by Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., Remarks by Sher Valenzuela, Remarks by Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas, Remarks by Artur Davis, Remarks by Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C.
- 10 p.m. Remarks by Luce' Vela Fortuño, Remarks by Ann Romney, KEYNOTE REMARKS by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie .
Expecting Ann Romney and Michelle Obama to pick out a nice frock and take the stage to assure Americans that their men are swell husbands and fathers may sound like a holdover from the 1950s, but it's a relatively recent convention tradition.
Among first ladies, politically savvy Nellie Taft was the first to attend a national convention - and it was the opposing party's. Gazing up silently from a front-row seat in 1912, she intimidated Democratic speakers into muting their criticism of her husband, Republican President William Howard Taft.
(WBEN/AP) In a sign of just how stage-managed these conventions have become, the never-dull New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did something he rarely does before a speech — wrote down a full text — as he prepared to deliver the keynote address Tuesday night. "They want you to work off a full text and that's fine," he told MSNBC. "I think my challenge up there is gonna be to be natural and be myself."
In the same interview, Christie pounced on Todd Akin, the Senate Republican candidate in Missouri who set off sparks with his inflammatory remark that a woman's body has a way of preventing pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." Romney is still trying to tamp down that distraction and get people thinking about the economy, not Republican abortion policy.
"In the end, these other guys don't matter," Christie said. "They're background noise — Todd Akin in Missouri, who's a joke and should get out of the race and everybody knows it, except for him apparently."
"I'll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them," Christie told USA Today in an interview announcing his assignment. He said he will describe his experiences in New Jersey as evidence that "the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice."
The keynote speech is the highest profile spot for someone not accepting the party's presidential or vice presidential nominations. The slot has launched many political figures, most notably a little-known state senator from Illinois named Barack Obama in 2004. Four years later, he won the White House.
"As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "He has fearlessly tackled his state's most difficult challenges while looking out for hardworking taxpayers."
Christie, already a favorite among fiscal conservatives for his tough talk and take-no-prisoners persona, will find a national introduction of sorts in Tampa and, perhaps, offer the opening steps toward a presidential run in 2016 if Romney loses, or in 2020. The 49-year-old former prosecutor has shown little sign that his influence is waning and has left the door open to a future White House run of his own.
It wasn't until 1992 that Barbara Bush pioneered the wifely testimonial.
She was assigned a prime Republican convention slot in hopes that her matronly charm would steady her husband's wobbly re-election bid. Mrs. Bush praised "the strongest, the most decent, the most caring, the wisest" man she knew and declared, "However you define family, that's what we mean by family values."
"She's the first first lady to have prepared remarks," said Carl Sferrazza Anthony, historian of the National First Ladies' Library. "And without saying anything overtly political, she's talking about the political issues of that period."
George H.W. Bush lost. But Mrs. Bush proved the potential of putting an adoring spouse in front of millions of TV viewers.
So every four years, the wives come out.
"The wives are in a unique position to talk about their husbands in more personal terms, rather than policy terms," said Martin Medhurst, distinguished professor of rhetoric and communication at Baylor University. "And a lot of people vote on personality."
In 1996 both the first lady and her rival, Elizabeth Dole, spoke at a convention. Dole, wife of Republican candidate Bob Dole, left the stage to mingle Oprah-style with the crowd. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton talked up her husband, Bill, and responded to conservative criticism of her credo "It takes a village to raise a child."
"The face-off between Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton in 1996 is probably the rhetorical high point of those conventions," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an expert on political speech and director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. "Each one very effectively makes the case for her husband, and the press played it as the battle of the wives."
And what wives: Both went on to serve in the Senate and run for president - stirring thoughts that someday a man will grace the convention stage as the nominee's supportive spouse.
No matter what Mrs. Romney and Mrs. Obama say this year, they won't match the gravity of the first convention when a first lady spoke.
Adolf Hitler's forces had overwhelmed Western Europe and begun bombing the British coast when Democrats gathered in Chicago in 1940. The delegates rallied behind Franklin Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term but rebelled at his choice for running mate and fought over how to help Britain without being drawn into war. The president stayed away, instead dispatching Mrs. Roosevelt to persuade the fractious crowd to unite for the good of the nation and a world in peril.
"We cannot tell from day to day what may come," she told them. "This is no ordinary time."