Tampa Talk

by Jay Nordlinger

JJM, I like all the slated speakers, to one degree or another — all the ones mentioned in the article you’ve excerpted. I’m especially high on New Mexico’s new governor. (For a profile I did of her earlier this year, go here.) But may I reprint a little item from a column of mine last week?

Reading about the Republican convention, I see that Newt is not to speak. Santorum is not to speak. GWB is not to speak. I think this is BS. It’s a Republican jamboree, let ’em all speak. I admire Romney a great deal, but it is not Romney’s convention — it’s the Republicans’ convention. I didn’t want Newt for president, but, my goodness: the idea of not having him speak at the convention this year. So wrong!

Everyone wants a convention to go “perfect.” But in going “perfect,” it can go zzzzzzzzzz. I know a party can’t afford a free-for-all, but a little messiness — a little spontaneity, a little non-sterility — can be very nice. Let the parties “tighten up” after Labor Day!

I will say once more: Newt Gingrich wasn’t my choice for nominee, but to keep him off the speakers’ roster — a mistake, I think, and borderline offensive.

P.S. One of the reasons I admire Dan Quayle relates to the 1996 convention. I’m going from memory here — and may be a little fuzzy. But, as I remember, those running the ’96 convention wanted to see his speech in advance. And he said, “I’m the former vice president, I can give a speech at my party’s convention — no.” He went ahead and gave his speech.

P.P.S. I sincerely hope Ted Cruz, the new Senate nominee in Texas, will be speaking in Tampa. Chris Christie already has the keynote, but Ted could do something like Obama did at the Dems’ ’04 convention — blow the roof off the place.

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