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Republican National Convention speakers, explained for people who don’t watch Fox News

Melania Trump will deliver the keynote address during night two of the RNC.

President Donald Trump Speaks to Delegates on the First Day of the Republican National Convention
Donald Trump speaks to delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Travis Dove/Pool/Getty Images
Nicole Narea covers politics and society for Vox. She first joined Vox in 2019, and her work has also appeared in Politico, Washington Monthly, and the New Republic.

A slew of President Donald Trump’s surrogates, including first lady Melania Trump and two of his children, Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump, will be making the case for his reelection during the second night of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.

The Republican National Committee abandoned its plans to hold a large-scale, in-person convention in Charlotte, North Carolina — as well as its subsequent plans to relocate the convention to Jacksonville, Florida — on account of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The convention has consequently gone almost entirely virtual and will largely take place in Washington, DC, including speeches delivered from the White House lawn and the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, over the course of just a few hours of condensed programming that will be broadcast nightly through Thursday, August 27.

The theme of Tuesday night is “Land of Opportunity.” The official proceedings go from 8:30 pm to 11 pm Eastern. All major television networks will broadcast the final hour; the full program will be available on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, as well as streaming services including Amazon Prime Video. Trump will be featured in the night’s programming more than once but will not give live remarks, according to his campaign.

On the first day of the convention, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were formally renominated by the Republican Party. Trump responded to his nomination by painting a dark picture of what he claims would befall America if former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, were elected. His speech was followed by others from the president’s family and allies, including Donald Trump Jr. and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, that largely struck the same tone.

Later in the week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka Trump, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, will each deliver high-profile addresses. The appearances are leading up to Trump accepting the nomination on Thursday night from the White House — a break from tradition that some legal and ethics experts argue is a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of government property for political activities.

Here’s the lineup of speakers for Tuesday night (which is subject to change and may exclude surprise guests, according to the Trump campaign) in the order they are scheduled to appear:

  • Norma Urrabazo, a pastor at the International Church of Las Vegas for 17 years, who will deliver the opening prayer
  • Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer, who has collaborated with Trump on creating an interagency task force to address the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous persons
  • Former Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Richard Beasley, who worked in Los Angeles and El Paso, Texas, before retiring and is now president of private investigations firm Global Intelligence Network
  • Jon Ponder, who was arrested by Beasley and went to prison for bank robbery; after his release, he became the founder and CEO of Hope for Prisoners, which helps ex-convicts reenter civilian life
  • Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was the first US senator to test positive for Covid-19 and has recently proposed cutting days for rural postal deliveries to ease the burden on the USPS ahead of the election
  • Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce, who will speak in support of Trump’s trade and fisheries policies
  • Cris Peterson, a dairy farmer in Minnesota who will speak in support of Trump’s trade policies that favor American dairy exports
  • Larry Kudlow, director of the US National Economic Council and former financial news host for CNBC, who has downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and pushed the president’s agenda of reopening the American economy
  • John Peterson, owner and CEO of metal fabricator Schuette Metals in Rothschild, Wisconsin, who will speak in support of Trump’s steel policies
  • Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham, an evangelist who served as a spiritual adviser to a number of presidents
  • Robert Vlaisavljevich, the Democratic mayor of Eveleth, a mining town in Minnesota, where Trump’s steel tariffs are popular
  • Abby Johnson, an anti-abortion rights activist who previously worked as a Planned Parenthood clinic director before resigning in October 2009 after reportedly watching an abortion on an ultrasound
  • Mary Ann Mendoza, an “Angel Mom” (a group that is frequently invoked by Trump in his anti-immigrant rhetoric); her child, police sergeant Brandon Mendoza, was killed in 2014 in a head-on collision with an unauthorized immigrant who was driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Nicholas Sandmann, a Covington Catholic High School student who sued CNN for $275 million (and later settled) following its coverage of a viral video that showed him standing in front of a Native American elder while wearing a MAGA hat and smiling
  • Pam Bondi, who faced ethics questions during her time as Florida’s attorney general when she decided not to join a multistate lawsuit against Trump University after Trump donated to a political action committee working toward her reelection
  • Tiffany Trump, Trump’s youngest daughter and a recent graduate of Georgetown Law School, who has maintained a low profile throughout her father’s first term
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), an outspoken Trump loyalist who has one of the lowest approval ratings nationwide with regard to her handling of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Police officer Ryan Holets, a father of five who, together with his wife, adopted the daughter of a drug user living on the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2017
  • Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R-FL), Florida’s first Hispanic female lieutenant governor whose state has had one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the US (as well as a less aggressive and shorter lockdown than most)
  • Eric Trump, Trump’s second son and the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, whose testimony is being sought by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of a probe into whether the president inflated his assets to receive better loan terms and tax benefits
  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who previously spent two years as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legal counsel and currently presides over the investigation into the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a hardline conservative who has served in the role since Rex Tillerson’s dismissal in April 2018 and will deliver his RNC address from Jerusalem, a decision that has drawn criticism from diplomats (who argue that the choice politicizes America’s foreign policy) and is under investigation by a House subcommittee
  • First lady Melania Trump, who was criticized following her 2016 RNC address for plagiarizing lines from Michelle Obama’s own speech at the 2008 DNC

Unlike former first ladies, Melania Trump has largely laid low during her husband’s reelection campaign, apart from her recent renovation of the White House Rose Garden, where she will deliver tonight’s keynote address live in front of a small audience. The Trump campaign said it is consulting with a coronavirus adviser about the speech and that “all appropriate precautions will be taken.”

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