WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush will headline the first night of the Republican National Convention and former GOP rival Rudy Giuliani will deliver the convention’s keynote address at the four day political rally in St. Paul, Minnesota, which will culminate in the nomination of John McCain as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.
On Thursday, a video will introduce McCain before he delivers his acceptance speech, senior campaign aides tell CNN.
The Arizona senator is turning to close allies, former rivals, a former Democrat, and potential running mates to address the convention in the days leading up to his acceptance speech. A year ago, four of the speakers were competing against McCain for the Republican nomination; one of the speakers is Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee; two of them represent the battleground state of Florida, and 10 speakers have been rumored to be on McCain’s list of potential running mates.
Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said that the senator wanted the list of speakers to showcase the “diversity” of the Republican Party.
“I think one of the things that is important, especially for John McCain, as unique a politician as he is, is to demonstrate the diversity and differences of ideology I would say of our party,” Davis said. “I think one of the things that people forget about is we are not a very monolithic as a party. We really want to show some of that.”
Joining Bush on Monday will be Vice President Dick Cheney, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrat-turned-Independent Lieberman, and first lady Laura Bush.
Giuliani keynotes the convention the next night and will be preceded at the podium by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
On Wednesday, McCain’s yet-to-be announced running mate will formally accept the vice presidential nomination, followed by the roll call for McCain’s nomination initiated by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Prior to the GOP vice presidential nominees’ address, McCain’s wife Cindy, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will speak.
Leading up to McCain’s acceptance speech, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez will address the convention.
Davis also said that Romney will be making appearances in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, which will be held there next week.
As for McCain, he will slightly scale back but not entirely cease campaigning during the Democratic convention. He is scheduled to make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Monday and will address the American Legion National Convention in Phoenix. The day after the Democratic convention, Davis said McCain will resume “an aggressive campaign schedule” that will continue through his arrival in St. Paul.