Republican Convention Lineup Starts

Photograph by Chip Litherland/The New York Times via Redux

A Mitt Romney supporter in Port of Tampa, Florida.

John McCain will cross a convention stage again.

The Republican Party’s 2008 presidential nominee will join the lineup of podium speakers at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. So will Condoleezza Rice, a former secretary of state in President George W. Bush’s administration.

Add former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who sought the party’s nomination in 2008, and Governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina, John Kasich of Ohio, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Rick Scott of Florida.

What you’ll see in that lineup announced by the Republican Party overnight are some names — Martinez’s was a serious one, Rice’s not-so-serious — that have been floated as potential running mates for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

If they’re announced as speakers today, they won’t be running mates.

What they are, says RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, are “some of our party’s brightest stars.”

Who you won’t see on stage: Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was McCain’s running mate.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney has publicly called Palin’s pick a mistake. His old boss, Bush, like his father, former President George H.W. Bush, is passing on the convention.

Romney is close to naming his vice presidential candidate — there’s an app for that.  Speculation runs to figures such as Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a suspected keynoter.

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