(CNN) - The keynote speaking slot at the South Carolina Republican Party's annual Silver Elephant Banquet is usually given to an up-and-coming voice in the party – often someone looking down the road to a possible presidential bid and eager to meet activists in a key primary state.
GOP heavyweights like Ronald Reagan, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, George Allen and Mike Pence have spoken at the event over the last two decades. The dinner, the party's biggest fundraiser of the year, also hosted two Republican presidential primary debates in 1996 and 2000.
This year's speaker though is someone who likely won't be on the ballot in 2012: Karl Rove.
The former adviser to President George W. Bush, who is currently promoting his new memoir, will headline the dinner on April 24 in Columbia.
"The South Carolina Republican Party is incredibly excited about having Karl Rove speak at our Silver Elephant dinner," South Carolina GOP chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a statement. "Karl knows what it takes for Republicans to win, and our activists are anxious to hear what he has to say."
"We've received enormously positive feedback on having him here for this, and we're looking forward to a great event," Floyd said.