Women highlight list of Republican National Convention speakers

8:58 PM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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From left: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
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Tampa, Florida -- The initial list of speakers released Monday for the Republican National Convention features three woman.

They are the first female governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, the first female Hispanic governor in the U.S. New Mexico's Susana Martinez and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

University of South Florida Prof. of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus says the selection reflects an effort by Republicans to show they are a diverse party.

"Very smart politics to try and put a more diverse face in your party and what better place to launch it from (than) Florida, which is already known as a microcosm of the country," MacManus said.

Other speakers announced on Monday include Florida Governor Rick Scott, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain.

MacManus notes Florida, Ohio and Arizona are key battleground states in the 2012 election.

"It's clear from the selection of speakers here that they're really trying to reach a lot of different bases of (the) party, whether it's religion or minorities or women."

The list released Monday did not detail on what day the people would speak, or at what time or for how long. Generally speaking times later at night, when more people are watching, are more coveted and regarded as higher profile.

MacManus believes Scott was invited to speak as a courtesy and not asking the first term Republican Governor would have been a serious snub.

"I would expect the hometown governor, particularly Gov. Scott in a divided state to get one of the earlier times and to be put in the welcoming role."

Notably absent from the list of speakers released Monday is a group of five men, all rumored to be under consideration to be Romney's running mate. They include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty

But with more then two dozen speaking slots expected at this year's convention all five may still get a speaking role. However the convention chairman says some people will ultimately be left out.

"There's not a way all of them can speak, so what we try and do is make sure it's representative," said Convention Chairman Alec Poitevint.  "And I would say very soon we'll have some more announcements," he added.

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