Republicans Announce Convention Themes, Speakers

Posted August 20, 2008 at 12:45pm

The Republican National Convention announced Wednesday an overall theme of “Country First” and a lineup of speakers including most of the rumored potential vice presidential nominees and Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.).

Daily themes under the Country First banner are service, reform, prosperity and peace.

“Our convention will showcase a cross-section of leaders who will highlight John McCain’s long commitment to putting our country first — before self-interest or politics,” said Jill Hazelbaker, spokeswoman for presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). “The speakers will address John McCain’s unmatched record of service and sacrifice for America, and his vision for moving our nation forward to keep us safe and get our economy back on track.”

On Sept. 1, the convention will open with a focus on McCain’s service and “reflect his commitment to serving a cause greater than one’s own self-interest.”

Lieberman is scheduled to speak that day, along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), President Bush, Vice President Cheney and first lady Laura Bush.

With Bush and Cheney out of the way, the second night of the convention will highlight reform and “will underscore [McCain’s] vision of a government that is transparent, principled and worthy of the American people it serves.”

The night’s speakers include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.), Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

The Sept. 3 “Prosperity” speaking list will feature McCain’s yet-to-be-named veep nominee, Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Cindy McCain, former eBay Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

The final night of the convention — “Peace” — will feature Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.) and Mel Martinez (Fla.) before McCain’s closing speech.

Additional speakers will be added in the coming days.