The Republican National Convention takes place next Monday through Thursday in Cleveland and the lineup of speakers reflects the scorched-earth narrative Donald Trump will deliver against Hillary Clinton this fall.
There will be a night dedicated to Clinton’s decision making in Benghazi, Libya. There will be a night to review the multiple affairs by former President Bill Clinton. There will be a night of billionaires attacking the economic policies of Barack Obama. And all of it will be woven together by prime-time speeches by Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr., daughter Ivanka and wife, Melania.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Ted Cruz will all have prime speaking slots.
Also appearing, Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Tom Cotton, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin; Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Former pro football player Tim Tebow, a conservative evangelical, will speak on the final night of the convention. Along with billionaire Peter Thiel, who recently funded a revenge lawsuit against Gawker that forced the media company into bankruptcy.
There will be some notable absences at this convention. Mainly the last two Republican presidents, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Also, the last two Republican presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, will be nowhere to be found.
Of more concern to the Trump campaign is that Ohio Governor John Kasich is not speaking and is refusing to endorse him. No Republican since 1860 has won the White House without carrying Ohio’s electoral votes.
Also not speaking, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the only Hispanic female Republican governor in the country. Trump has previously questioned her leadership skills.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 17 GOP members of the U.S. Senate including former rivals Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are also refusing to attend Trump’s coronation.
For reasons not stated but probably understood, former two-year Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, a Trump backer, will also not be speaking.
The GOP Convention lineup:
Monday: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Jamiel Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Sen. Cotton, Rudy Giuliani, Melania Trump, Sen. Ernst.
Tuesday: A focus on the economy: Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.); Gov. Asa Hutchinson; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker.
Wednesday: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; Sen. Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Sen. Ted Cruz; Eric Trump; professional golfer Natalie Gulbis; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Thursday: Tim Tebow; Rep. Marsha Blackburn; Gov. Mary Fallin; Reince Priebus, RNC chairman; Gov. Rick Scott; billionaire Peter Thiel; real estate expert Thomas Barrack; Ivanka Trump; nominee Donald Trump.