When New Jersey Gov. Thomas E. Kean walks to the podium at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, some Republicans might walk out.
Kean was hand-picked by Vice President George Bush to be the keynote speaker. But arch-conservatives, who have several bones to pick with Bush at the convention, don't like Kean.They see him much as they see Bush - an Eastern establishment moderate representing the compromise politics they think leads to the weakening of the Republican Party.
Sen. Gordon Humphrey, R-N.H., the man who is leading the effort to get Bush to pick a conservative vice presidential candidate, urged Bush to dump Kean as the keynote speaker.
But this is Bush's convention, and Kean stayed.
Some conservative delegates have said they may leave the hall when Kean talks to show their disapproval of his selection.
As a leading legislator in New Jersey, Kean put together coalitions that passed environmental laws, created a consumer protection agency and banned "Saturday Night Special" handguns, all to the dismay of conservatives, reports Congressional Quarterly.
Kean and Bush are friends, having met in the days when their fathers served in Congress together. Should Bush win the presidency, Kean may well be offered a spot in his administration.
The arch-conservatives may not be the only ones walking out of the convention. Former President Gerald Ford will be the last speaker Tuesday evening. But he warned convention managers that if the event runs late, past prime-time TV's coverage, he'll leave without giving his speech at all.
Another speech to watch Tuesday night will be by former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick - the only one of the final five candidates considered by George Bush for his running mate who will speak.