ST. PAUL, Minn. Shuffled convention plans have bumped Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. from the podium.
Although the convention schedule is still not public, Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley confirmed that the governor would not be speaking Tuesday. She did not know if he would get a slot during the convention later in the week.
Originally, Huntsman was scheduled to speak at 8:30 p.m. central time. That is now likely a time slot filled by either a patriotic video or, possibly, a satellite address from the White House to the delegates by President Bush.
The prime-time schedule for Tuesday's program at the Republican National Convention was announced earlier this morning during a conference call with reporters and party officials. Those will be former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who was an early candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Rick Davis, campaign manager for Arizona Sen. John McCain, said the prime-time schedule had only been decided about 5 this morning.
One of the key things they decided was to move to Tuesday much of Monday's schedule, which was planned as a way to introduce the delegates and the country to McCain, the party's presumptive presidential nominee.
Along with the two senators, who have known McCain for years, there will also be speeches from a former fellow prisoner-of-war and Wes Gullett, a longtime friend and lobbyist, who adopted one of the babies Cindy McCain brought back from Bangladesh in 1991.
"We lost a lot of opportunities to communicate this message last night and tried to incorporate it into tonight," Davis said. "A lot of the elements scheduled for Monday will be heard today, while a lot scheduled for today will be lost."
The schedule change also means that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another Republican presidential candidate, is no longer speaking during prime time Tuesday.
The convention is shortened on Tuesday, as well. It will only run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Central time.
The problem with moving speakers off of Tuesday's schedule is that Wednesday and Thursday are already booked with important speakers. There is also official business, such as the roll call vote for the nominees, which has to be done.Wednesday will focus the spotlight on Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominee. Thursday will be McCain's day to shine.
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