RNC Speakers Are Being Announced, but Here's Who Has Not Gotten an Invite - and It Is a Bad Idea

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Republicans are gearing up for that every-four-year party known as the Republican National Convention (RNC). While it might not be as entertaining as the Democrat National Convention is looking like it will be given the current state of the Democrat Party, Republicans will gather in Milwaukee to showcase what appears to be a unified party and to officially nominate Donald Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee for President. While all of the rising stars in the party will no doubt have prime-time speaking slots, the absence of one of them may raise some eyebrows.


Former 2024 GOP presidential candidate, U.N. Ambassador, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will not be attending or speaking at this year's RNC. Haley will not be in Milwaukee as a Haley spokesman says she was not invited. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had originally been denied a speaking time, but after a "change in schedule," will attend and participate in a Moms for Liberty panel discussion and breakfast with the Florida state delegation and also have a speaking time slot. 

On Tuesday, Haley released the delegates she amassed by winning primaries in Vermont and the District of Columbia in order for those delegates to support Trump at the convention. DeSantis's campaign did not last as long as Haley's, dropping out of the race after coming in second in the Iowa primary. But is giving the brush-off to potential 2028 GOP candidates a good idea?

In 2016, Donald Trump had to contend with Republicans who supported more "establishment" candidates like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, and the ever-present "Never-Trumpers." In 2024, Nikki Haley was seen as another one of those establishment candidates because of her position on the war in Ukraine and American support for it. Many Republicans had great hope for a DeSantis campaign, but that campaign never seemed to fully recover from a glitch-filled online launch. 


While both party conventions are primarily for officially nominating their candidate, the other purpose is to elevate rising stars in the party. In the case of the 2024 RNC, this is even more crucial. Should he be reelected, Donald Trump will only serve one more term. What doesn't seem to get talked about enough, is the fact that Republicans need to start focusing now on a post-Trump Republican party. Who comes after Trump? 

Normally, the answer to that would be whoever Trump picks as his VP, but not necessarily. Many Republicans may still think that DeSantis is the closest thing to Trump 2.0 and timing may also be on his side. He will end two highly successful terms as governor in 2026, giving him plenty of time to think about a second run for the White House. It is very possible that he would have much better luck the second time around. Haley was a bit more defiant regarding Trump, saying in February, "I feel no need to kiss the ring" of Trump. That defiance may have cost her an invite this year.

The RNC is keeping the list of speakers close to the vest, but the rising stars will get their speaking time slots. While Nikki Haley might be a bit more in line with traditional RNC speakers, one who is not and will be speaking is Model and TV personality Amber Rose. Rose has taken some positions on things like abortion and LGBTQ rights that don't necessarily square with traditional conservatism. Many convention attendees may have issues with Haley and her sudden support for Trump, but the rationale behind leaving Haley off the speaker list and adding Rose is probably one those attendees would be interested in hearing. 


Republicans have a deep bench — definitely a good problem to have. Just put the whole bench on display — 2028 will be here in no time.



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