Speakers at Donald Trump’s Convention: Tim Tebow, Peter Thiel, but No Sarah Palin? – The New York Times

By JEREMY W. PETERS

JULY 13, 2016

PhotoTim Tebow, a former N.F.L. quarterback who played for the Philadelphia Eagles last year, is scheduled to speak on the fourth night of the Republican National Convention. Credit Mel Evans/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — A night highlighting the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya. An appearance by onetime football star Tim Tebow. A presentation detailing former President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct.

Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee, has been promising a different kind of Republican National Convention, and plans obtained by The New York Times show that he is eager to put his showbiz stamp on the party’s gathering, even as he struggles to attract A-list talent.

The roster of speakers obtained by The Times, and confirmed by two people with direct knowledge of the convention planning, reveals a lineup lacking many of the party’s rising stars. Instead, it features some of Mr. Trump’s eclectic collection of friends, celebrities and relatives, from his Slovenian supermodel wife to professional golfer Natalie Gulbis.

The parade of people seems to have been selected to broaden Mr. Trump’s demographic reach.

There are several notable women speaking. They include Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general, who tangled on television with the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after the Orlando, Fla., nightclub massacre; Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle mission; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania.

There are a few African-Americans, like Jamiel Shaw Sr., who became an outspoken advocate for tougher immigration laws after his son was killed in 2008 by an undocumented immigrant; and Darryl Glenn, who is running for Senate in Colorado.

From sports there is Mr. Tebow, the former quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who is known for his conservative views; Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts organization; and Ms. Gulbis.

Billionaire Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, will represent the business community, along with Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a private-equity real estate investor.

The list of politicians scheduled to appear include people who have been out of office for some time, like Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, and newcomers like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

There are plans to emphasize different themes each night of the convention. Mr. Trump wants to touch on a few of his favorite hot-button issues, like the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, former President Clinton’s infidelities and border security.

All four of Mr. Trump’s adult children are scheduled to speak.Mr. Trump is still inviting people, his aides have said. And the people who spoke about his list of speakers cautioned that it could still grow.

But what is striking, as much as who is on the list, is who is not. Several figures Mr. Trump had said he would invite to speak, like the boxing promoter Don King and Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, were not included. Neither was Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, a hugely popular figure in the key state of New Hampshire.

The list, which is subject to change, as obtained by The New York Times:

Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, Mr. Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. Ernst and others.

Night 2: A focus on the economy: Mr. White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Night 3: Ms. Bondi; Ms. Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; Ms. Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.

Night 4: Mr. Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; Mr. Thiel; Mr. Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.

Even as they finalized the list this week, Mr. Trump’s campaign aides and party officials were also working behind the scenes to stave off any challenges to Mr. Trump’s nomination on the convention floor next week.

Mr. Priebus was blunt about the need for party leaders to support Mr. Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton — even if the reasoning he offered appeared to be less than a full-throated endorsement.

“If we don’t stick together as a party and stop her, then the only alternative is to get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Priebus said in remarks to party leaders on Wednesday.

Read more here: Speakers at Donald Trump’s Convention: Tim Tebow, Peter Thiel, but No Sarah Palin? – The New York Times