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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Speaking in Tampa: Ayotte, Davis, Jindal, Mack, McDonnell, and Portman



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This morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced to Campaign Spot six more speakers for the party’s national convention in Tampa:

  • U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, United States Senator from New Hampshire and former New Hampshire Attorney General.
  • Former Democratic National Convention Speaker Artur Davis, former Alabama congressman from the 7th District (2003-2011) who was the first member of Congress not from Illinois to endorse President Obama in 2008. Davis, then a Democrat, seconded the official nomination of Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He recently announced he is joining the Republican Party and supporting Mitt Romney.
  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, 55th Governor of Louisiana, winning election in 2007 and winning reelection in all of the state’s 64 parishes in 2011; former U.S. Congressman; led the state’s response to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf in 2010.
  • Congressman Connie Mack won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Florida on August 14th and was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2004.
  • Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and chairman of the Republican National Convention Committee on Resolutions, commonly known as the Platform Committee.
  • U.S. Senator Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio who won election in 2010 by 18 points, winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and former Congressman from Ohio’s 2nd  district.  He is also a former U.S. Trade Representative and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“This exciting group of headliners includes two successful governors, two outstanding senators, the next senator from our convention state, and a former Co-Chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign,” Priebus said in a released statement. “The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future. Former Congressman Davis especially will give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction.”

The convention is from August 27-30. Of the above names, Ayotte, Jindal, McDonnell and Portman were among those considered to be potential running mates for Romney. Mack is considered one of the party’s better shots for a takeover of an incumbent Democrat’s Senate seat, taking on Bill Nelson, and Davis is growing in prominence as one of Romney’s surrogates, as an African-American former Democrat. The comparisons of him to Joe Lieberman, who addressed the 2008 Republican convention, are likely to intensify in the coming weeks.

Davis also periodically writes for NRO. In fact, this morning he has a column declaring, “there has always been a measured slickness in how Barack Obama’s political operation has handled race, the third rail in politics.”


Tags: Artur Davis , Bob McDonnell , Bobby Jindal , Connie Mack , Kelly Ayotte , Rob Portman


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