There are a few moments in any national presidential-nominating convention that are designed for drama: the keynote address, the speech by the running mate and, of course, the speech by the nominee. But the GOP this year is trying to add another one in a Zell Miller-esque address by a longtime Democrat.
And this longtime Democrat happens to be one of the first members of Congress to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency in 2008, the man who seconded Obama’s nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver: Alabama’s Artur Davis.
Davis’ switch to the Republican Party earlier this year was well-publicized, but I’m not sure anyone predicted he’d be a headliner at the 2012 GOP convention, announced alongside four people Mitt Romney reportedly considered as potential running mates: Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. (U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack of Florida was also announced today.)
There have been rumors a Republican, perhaps Jon Huntsman, will address the Democrats’ convention in Charlotte. It would take more than Huntsman, in my view, to trump what the GOP gets with Davis.
Here’s what Davis said in a press release by the Republican National Committee:
The talk and inspiration moved so many of us four years ago, but unfortunately we haven’t seen the action to back it up. We were promised jobs and we got job-killing mandates and regulations. We were promised a fiscally responsible government, and we got trillion dollar deficits, debt that has never been seen, and small business burdened with new taxes, and threatened with more taxes. The time for talk is over. At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Republicans take a step to undo the mismanagement and nominate Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States.
I believe the official term for that kind of statement from that kind of ex-supporter is “fightin’ words.” We’ll have to see whether Davis proves as effective a turncoat as Miller was. And/or whether Davis ends up challenging any liberal cable-news commentators to a duel:
– By Kyle Wingfield