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Conservative Leaders Kept Off the Convention Podium

Republicans are playing it safe at the upcoming GOP convention, hoping to prevent controversy from raining down on the proceedings by keeping all of their biggest potential lightening rods well off the speaker’s platform.

But many of these politicians are among the most important and conservative leaders in the country, and their failure to appear is likely to cause grumbling among conservatives and may well sap some of their enthusiasm.

Republicans may still be haunted by Pat Buchanan’s 1992 “culture war” convention speech, which fired up conservatives but which some believe alienated moderate voters and helped lead to the defeat of George H.W. Bush.

First among those not invited to the 2012 convention is George W. Bush, who will be watching the convention from home, or from anywhere that is not Tampa, where the convention is being held. Dick Cheney, who has lately reemerged from ill health as a surprisingly active commentator, will also skip the proceedings.

Sarah Palin announced Sunday she won’t be on hand either.

While Mitt Romney’s most successful rival for the convention, Rick Santorum, was belatedly given a speaking slot, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann are out.

So is Ron Paul, a hero to libertarians and others on the right. Paul’s more moderate son Rand, a Republican senator from Kentucky, will have a speaking role.

Donald Trump was thought to have a chance at a podium appearance, but he’s out too, though he apparently will be at the convention and is planning some kind of “memorable surprise.”

Gingrich will also have a role, but it’s been confined to conducting “policy workshops” during the day, away from the podium.

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28 Responses to Conservative Leaders Kept Off the Convention Podium

  1. Pretty smart, if you ask me, except for the crybaby Santorum. Can’t really see him adding anything at all except as a minor distraction.

  2. Of course they’re not invited; one doesn’t invite the former boyfriend or girlfriend to give a toast at a wedding, either.

    SarahPalin, ol’Newt, or TheDonald would be the only headline if they were to speak at the convention and RonPaul would only confuse everyone; talk about sucking oxygen out of the room.
    HermanCain would just reivigorate the smears made against him, and MichelleBachman would only remind everyone that she should have been chosen to be the VP candidate.

  3. Hey Keith, I love your writing and reporting.

    This time however, I agree with the choices they have made for the podium. That’s not to say that I don’t love what each of the people you referenced above stand for, because I do.

    I just think we need to do whatever it takes to get Obama and his Czars OUT OF OFFICE. If that means appealing to a wider base, and offending fewer, than so be it.

    It’s already proven that the general public will not respond positively to the list of people you reference that were not invited. I hope they (and we) can rise above that at this time in history for the greater good.

    In my opinion, it is wise (and the right choice) to do what is necessary to appeal to a larger group of independents and conservatives right now.

    America can’t withstand Obama in office for 4 more years.

  4. Makes sense: the conservatives are already steeped in conservative principles, plus they have nowhere else to go. It’s all about seducing the independent voters without scaring them away. If you don’t win the election then all the conservative speechmaking would be for naught, and obviously deleterious.

  5. The only reason I can think of to have invited Santorum is that he may give them a boost in PA. But that’s the only reason. Sarah Palln has had great success at the grass roots level. Let her keep it up. This is the Romney/Ryan show….they’ll do a great job managing it.

  6. Here is where you want to just kick the GOP right in the ass. America needs bold, America wants bold, America wants something different than Comrade Obama, which presumably, is why Rmoney picked Ryan. WTH are they so afraid of? Oh yeah, I know, they are afraid their own little sandbox is going to get crapped in and their cozy little world will not be so comfortable and cozy anymore.The GOP had a chance in 2006 and blew it. They got another chance in 2010 and can’t seem to find their ass with either hand. Now here is chance #3 and you know what they say…three strikes and you are out.

  7. Good decision! Why bring back images of the most blood-curdling attacks on a Presidential candidate by members of his own party in modern politics? But why Santorum – the worst offender of all?
    As ‘Just2old’ stated above – it must be about PA. As for Palin – who wants to be reminded of the aftermath of 2008!

    Conservatives will turn out no matter what! With Ryan on the ticket, we now have a better chance with the youth vote, women, and Independents. Go Romney/Ryan!

  8. The adults are now running the show. No disrespect to those conservatives not speaking. Romney/Ryan is the face America will see in making their choice. We need to get behind that. And somewhere I read that Sarah Palin is focused on having Paul Ryan’s back in terms of protecting him from the slime that was hurled at her and her family. Everyone has a role to play. One of those most notable things to me over this past weekend was how many times R&R unabashedly and proudly said they love this country, they love America and they are fighting for America. Perhaps Barack Obama has said that he loves this country. If he did, I missed it. And I wouldn’t have believed it. The other notable and unsurprising thing about this weekend was how unwelcoming the MSM was in introducing Paul Ryan to their viewers and how in the tank they continue to be for Obama.

    • I wonder if Comrade Obama will steal some of the lines that Romney and Ryan were using in their speeches on Saturday and Sunday. I know he can never bring himself to use the word exceptional when referring to the USA, but our rights given to us by God and nature comes to mind.
      Obama would love this country too if we would just heel to his socialist vision.

  9. No one from FOX! It’s rigged – why bother to watch?

    PBS Jim Lehrer, first Pres debate, Oct 3 Denver…
    CNN Candy Crowley, town hall, Oct 16, Hempstead NY…
    CBS Bob Schieffer, third Pres debate, Oct. 22, Boca Raton…
    ABC Martha Raddatz, VP debate, Oct 11, Danville KY…

    • Was Trumpka, Stern and Michelle’s mother already booked elsewhere? I am only surprised that they didn’t snag Keith Olbermann (snort).

  10. This will hopefully be the establishment Republican’s last hoorah. They are making a big mistake by blacklisting leaders in the Tea Party movement. Their audacity of inviting John McCain to speak, and not Sarah Palin is a real slap in the face. Oh they have a few token conservatives on the agenda, but they are making it clear they do not like or want our passion and enthusiasm in attendance. Not a problem RINOs – that which doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger.

    RINOs are like the left…they always try to blame something or someone else for their failures. George HW Bush didn’t lose the election because of Pat Buchannan’s speech; he lost the election because he failed to live up to the conservative principles he espoused.

    • Adding JohnMcCain to the speaker’s list is just a h/t to the old guard and a reminder that the Repubs support our military and it’s heros.
      Millions of people did vote for him and they don’t want to lose that base.
      MrsPalin is a tremendous force in the political arena, but through no fault of her own, she is also a negative MSM magnet. Young, bright, intelligent and so very attractive that she gives them something to attack because she endorses everything that the MSM and the Dems denounce, from fiscal responsiblity to an anti-abortion stance.
      There’s no doubt that MrsPalin can energize and mobilize voters with her endorsements of candidates, but the convention isn’t the place for that. She will do the most good campaigning on the road for the R&R come-back team.

      The Repubs are skirting the quick-sand of politics by not including every different idea or agenda of various prominent speakers. They need to present a united front and a common purpose.

        • Oh, I agree whole-heartedly with that. After 2 years of the MSM telling everyone that the tea party is ‘dead’ and of no consequence, it comes back in several different states to demolish the old guard Repubs.
          Some of the MSM had grudgingly given MrsPalin credit for her support of a few candidates that have upset the status quo, but gave no acknowlegment of the sentiment of the voters; and that is the tea party state of mind is still active.

          There are a lot of people who think RonPaul’s agenda would make this country better,and ol’Newt isn’t devoid of a good idea, either. But, without the united force, the opposition to Obama falls apart.

  11. I’m fine with Palin, Gingrich, and Bachmann not speaking, and I’d rather Santorum not be there either. you couldn’t name more divisive Republicans if you tried!

    I’m also glad Bush and Cheney aren’t going. why give the Obammies any more “blame Bush” ammunition than they already have?

    I think that people like Nikki Haley will be speaking, which is exactly right. especially after the debut of the Two White Guys ticket, people need to be reminded that the Republicans also have one or two women in the party.

  12. i was one of the women offended by Pat Buchanon. did not vote for Clinton but seriously considered doing so. Pat’s speech made this Republican hold my nose in the voting booth and turn off GOP speeches for years. Please don’t let the party go there again.

  13. Why don’t the powers that be ever chose people that we conservatives would approved of to be the questioners? Candy Crawley, Jim Lehrere etc.? It always seems to be the same ole’ characters. How boring are they? BORRRRRING.