Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention (RNC) will feature two of the longest-running figures in the Trump administration along with two of the newest faces in Congress, showcasing the diversity in age of some of the most fervent supporters of the president.
Vice President Mike Pence will be the headliner of the night, accepting his vice-presidential nomination from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md. The fort was the site of the battle in the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which would eventually become the United States’ national anthem. And with former Navy Seal Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, in the mix Wednesday, expect a heavy dose of patriotism at the RNC.
Here’s what to watch for on the second night of the RNC.
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In addition to Pence, longtime White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is set to speak in the Wednesday convention broadcast. She has been one of the most trusted advisers of the president throughout his first term and one of the most durable figures in Trumpworld. But Conway’s speech will be one of her last acts, as she announced earlier this week that she will be leaving the Trump administration to focus on her family. Her husband, George Conway, a critic of the president, also announced he would be taking a step back from public life by leaving his post at The Lincoln Project, a controversial group that runs ads against the president targeted at Republicans.
The Wednesday convention broadcast will also include some of the party’s most popular younger faces in freshman Reps. Crenshaw and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. Stefanik rose to prominence during the impeachment saga as one of President Trump’s most vehement defenders in Congress while Crenshaw has been popular in the party since his 2018 congressional race.
Notable Wednesday, however, is the lack of bonafide heavy hitters in the speaker lineup compared to the corresponding night of the Democratic National Convention. Democrats a week ago trotted out vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, former President Obama, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, progressive Senate standard-bearer Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will speak Wednesday. And Republicans’ two most recent living presidential nominees Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and former President George W. Bush are notably absent from the convention. Pelosi’s House counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will speak Thursday at the RNC.
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Speakers: Vice President Mike Pence; second lady Karen Pence; Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem; Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas; Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.; Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell; Kellyanne Conway; Keith Kellogg; Jack Brewer; Sister Dede Byrne; Madison Cawthorn; Scott Dane; Clarence Henderson; Michael McHale; Burgess Owens; Lara Trump, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
This speakers list is likely incomplete, as Republicans announced additional speakers ahead of their Tuesday night broadcast. One speaker Tuesday, Mary Ann Mendoza, was yanked from the Tuesday speaker lineup ahead of time after retweeting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Like the Democratic National Convention, the RNC will have a theme for each night. The overall theme for the week is “Honoring the Great American Story.”
On Wednesday, the nightly theme will be “Land of Heroes,” to be highlighted by Pence at Fort McHenry.
The broadcast will run from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
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Democrats preempted the RNC Monday by launching a “Republicans for Biden” initiative, which was headlined by former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.
They also run real-time counter-messaging on their social media platforms, including the DNC War Room Twitter account.
“One thing you didn’t hear at the RNC tonight? A plan to control the coronavirus, support unemployed Americans, or help struggling businesses,” the DNC War Room tweeted Tuesday. “Trump and Republicans must have forgotten about the crisis, so we sent a reminder to the afterparty.”