Condoleezza Rice is on the list of official speakers at this month’s Republican convention in Tampa, in what some experts see as a sign of her elimination from the vice presidential sweepstakes.
The GOP put out a list of seven speakers who will have key roles in the convention in late August. It is widely assumed the speakers will not get the vice presidential nomination.
It didn’t officially name the keynote speaker, but that has been widely reported as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a big supporter of nominee Mitt Romney.
The seven official speakers are Rice, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Arizona Senator John McCain, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Sources confirmed the list to the Associated Press on Sunday.
Scott and Kasich are Tea Party favorites, and Haley was elected with Tea Party support.
Off the list are the assumed finalists for the vice presidential slot: Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Bobby Jindal, Kelly Ayotte, and Marco Rubio.
The initial announcement of Scott, the governor of the host state of Florida, wasn’t a big surprise. Rubio also will most likely speak in some capacity.
Also off the list is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. There has been much debate on the issue of Palin having any role at the convention, as the Romney team seeks to distance itself from previous GOP campaigns.
This weekend, commentator Eleanor Clift said Palin “will be a force at the Republican Convention whether she does it from the floor or from the parking lot.”
Romney is said to be seeking a running mate in a different vein than Palin, McCain’s attention-grabbing nominee in 2008.
In July, Palin complained to Newsweek/Daily Beast about not receiving a convention invitation. “One must remember this isn’t Sadie Hawkins and you don’t invite yourself and a date to the Big Dance,” she said in an e-mail message.
Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney will not be at the convention.
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