Reporting Tim Kephart
TAMPA (CBSMiami) – As both the Republican and Democratic parties continue preparations for their respective conventions, the list of who will not be attending is attracting as much attention as who will be given a speaking role at the convention.
Both candidates determine who will speak at the convention and try to select people who will push the message and ideals of the candidate without completely upstaging either the nominee or the president.
The biggest name Democrat who won’t be at the convention this year will be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was President Barack Obama’s rival in 2008, but is not allowed by law to attend the convention in her role as Secretary of State.
Instead, President Obama tapped arguably the biggest rock star in the Democratic Party outside of himself, former President Bill Clinton, to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Romney selected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to deliver the keynote address and will also have a role for Senator John McCain, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Romney did not give a speaking role to his former opponents for the GOP nomination, with the notable exception of Rick Santorum. The social conservative hero will speak at the convention as Romney seeks to solidify his credentials with the most conservative wings of the Republican Party.
However, Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, along with former Vice-President Dick Cheney will not be at the convention. On the Democratic side, former Vice-President Al Gore will not be in attendance for Obama’s second nomination.
Additionally, vulnerable candidates from both parties have pulled out of attending the conventions. Among those who won’t attend their respective conventions: Democratic Senators Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill and Republican Senate hopefuls Heather Wilson, George Allen, and Linda McMahon.
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