The first speakers were named Monday for the Republican National Convention in Tampa at the end of August. The Tampa Bay Times reports that seven headline speakers for the event will be 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. Reuters reported late Monday night that Mitt Romney’s bitter primary opponent Rick Santorum has also agreed to speak at the convention, in addition to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who spent much of the GOP presidential primary supporting the campaign of his father Texas Congressman Rep. Ron Paul. The announcement of other speakers, including the keynote address, are expected to come closer to the August 27-30 event. The Times notes that the RNC did not say what day or time any of the headliners would appear at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will officially become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Utah Governor and 2012 primary candidate Jon Huntsman, have said they will not attend the convention.

Romney is expected to announce his running mate within the next few weeks, even possibly within the next few days. The before mentioned RNC speakers are expected to now be off the list of Romney’s potential running mates, as the Vice Presidential nominee usually gets a more rolled out announcement of a prominent speaking slot at the convention. GOP stars noticeably omitted from this initial speakers list and expected to be under consideration for the VP slot include: Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Rumors spread last month that the always bombastic Gov. Christie was slated to give the keynote address. Past RNC and DNC keynote speakers that have found their way to the top of the ticket in subsequent elections, and eventually the White House, include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.

Democrats announced last week that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will deliver the keynote speech at their convention in Charlotte early next month.

Watch below some of the more memorable convention speeches in recent time:

Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention, Boston, MA:

“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”

 

Former President Ronald Reagan, 1992 Republican National Convention, Houston, TX:

“May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never lose your natural, God-given optimism.”

 

Vice President and Republican candidate for President George H.W. Bush, 1988 Republican National Convention, New Orleans, LA:

“I will keep America moving forward, always forward – for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light.”


New York Governor Mario Cuomo, 1984 Democratic National Convention, San Francisco, CA:

“There is despair, Mr. President, in the faces that you don’t see, in the places that you don’t visit in your shining city.”


Former Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan, 1964 Republican National Convention,  San Francisco, California:

If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.