The threatening downpour of tropical storm Isaac may have silenced the GOP Convention's kick-off day, but the GOP message will not be diluted as a result. So said Russ Shreifer, a Romney for President Strategist, on an official conference call announcing the resulting changes into the daily line-ups.
Monday's platform message was to be: "We Can Do Better," a broad statement of dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies and efforts. "That message will be put into 'We Built It,' 'We Can Change It,' and 'We Believe In America,'" said the operative, referring to the themes for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights' speeches. "Bottom line is that we believe that the theme of President Obama’s failed leadership's not serving the American people can be talked about in each of these areas."
Headlining speakers have been shuffled to make sure they will all make their appearance during the 10pm to 11pm hour (ET), the one hour of Convention coverage that will be broadcast nationally. Ann Romney had already been moved from her original Monday night slot to Tuesday, when Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is also slated to speak, in order to ensure her speech would be broadcast. Other headliners for the remaining days are: Condeleeza Rice, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Presumed Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan on Wednesday; Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Mitt Romney on Thursday night, for the Convention's closing addresses.
Not everyone made the cut to the compressed schedule. But, notably, headliner status was retained for Kentucky Junior Senator Rand Paul, son of Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, who was not invited to speak from the GOP main stage, despite his having as many as 500 delegates supporting him at this Convention. Nearly ten thousand of Ron Paul's supporters braved the first lashings of the tropical storm to hear Paul speak, their only chance to hear the other GOP presidential candidate, since he had declined the GOP's offer for him to appear on the main stage -- with the caveat that the his speech could be approved in advance.
So Ron Paul and his supporters won't get the last word on how this Convention will play out, but with the Convention Center being dark on Monday except for an official gaveling-in, he did, in fact, get the first.
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