Lingle earns historic call to GOP convention
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Gov. Linda Lingle will become next month the first Hawaii governor to deliver a speech at a major political convention. She will join other prominent GOP leaders at the Republican National Convention.
Lingle is scheduled to give a short speech on Sept. 2, the second day of the convention in St. Paul, Minn. Lingle's address will come ahead of former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's keynote speech that night.
The Republican governor said yesterday she is honored to give Hawaii more exposure and will speak on the merits of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.
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Gov. Linda Lingle has been tapped to address next month's Republican National Convention, making her the first Hawaii governor to deliver a speech at a major political convention.
She is among 10 current and former Republican governors, along with five current and former U.S. senators, selected to speak on the merits of the party's presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain.
Lingle is scheduled to deliver a short speech in prime time -- about 8:30 p.m. Central Time (3:30 p.m. in Hawaii) -- on Sept. 2, the second night of the convention, just ahead of the keynote speech to be delivered by former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
"It's an honor to be chosen and to have Hawaii have that kind of exposure," Lingle said yesterday.
The convention, dubbed "Country First," will have a different theme on each of its four days, all tied to platforms of the party and McCain, according to organizers.
St. Paul, Minn., serves as the host site for the 45,000 Republican delegates and alternates.
The theme for the second day of the convention is reform. Other themes are service, prosperity and peace.
"I haven't started to write anything yet, but we're in discussions with them now," Lingle said.
"What I want to talk about is Senator McCain's proven record of bipartisanship," she added, "how he's able throughout his career to work with people of his own party but also to work with the Democrats. I think that's the kind of leadership we need."
Other speakers the second day will include former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, both of whom dropped out of the presidential race earlier this year.
Former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman also are scheduled to speak that day before Giuliani takes the stage.
"Our convention will showcase a cross-section of leaders who will highlight John McCain's long commitment to putting our country first," McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said in a news release.
Lingle is in the middle of her second term. Elected in 2002 as Hawaii's first Republican governor in 40 years, Lingle had a small role in the 2004 Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.
She served as temporary convention charwoman, gaveling one morning session to a close and giving brief remarks before the opening of another session.
Lingle has said she plans to campaign for McCain whenever and wherever she is asked to help. She said she expected those plans to be finalized after the convention.
Star-Bulletin reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.