Back in January, when Donald Trump rolled out a seemingly drunk Sarah Palin to endorse his candidacy, it seemed like a suspect move, especially after the fact. She rambled on incoherently, delivering nonsense paragraphs like the following:

“The self-made success of his, you know, that he doesn’t get his power, his high, off of opium [we think she means “OPM”]: other people’s money, like a lot of dopes in Washington do. They’re addicted to opium, where they take other people’s money, and then their high is getting to redistribute it, right?”

She blasted Republicans who refused to have anything to do with Trump or said that he wasn’t a true conservative.

“Oh, tell somebody like, Phyllis Schlafly? She is the Republican, conservative movement icon and hero and a Trump supporter. Tell her she’s not conservative. How ‘bout the rest of us? Right wingin’, bitter clingin’, proud clingers of our guns, our god, and our religions, and our Constitution. Tell us that we’re not red enough? Yeah, coming from the establishment. Right.”

Even Trump realized that he’d delivered the nation a train wreck, which is undoubtedly why Sarah Palin is not on the schedule to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week.


But that doesn’t mean that we won’t get to do some rubbernecking. Ben Carson has a slot. Jerry Falwell Jr. has a slot. For some reason, Antonio Sabato Jr., “a former Calvin Klein underwear model, soap-opera actor and reality-television star,” has a slot.

It’s also doubtful that race-hustlers like Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Rudy Giuliani and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke will do much for minority or moderate outreach.

Notably absent from the speaking list is anyone who has been president or vice-president or been nominated for those positions in the past. The only exception is Paul Ryan who will make a brief appearance to talk about his agenda for the House of Representatives, but that agenda has exactly zero to do with Donald Trump. Mitt Romney and John McCain will not speak. Neither will Poppy Bush or any of his sons. Dick Cheney is not scheduled. Bob Dole is not scheduled.

What we will see is some guy who runs a Trump winery in Virginia, pro golfer Natalie Gulbis, and the man who runs the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

I don’t see any slots reserved for former Secretaries of State, of which many are still living, like Condi Rice and Colin Powell and James Baker and George P. Schultz. There won’t be any Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz or Robert Gates. We won’t see Henry Paulson or John Snow or Paul O’Neill or Nicholas Brady.

No one who has ever held a cabinet position of authority on diplomacy or our armed forces or the economy is scheduled to speak.

But we will have a chance to hear what Mike Huckabee has to say. And Ted Cruz. And Newt Gingrich.

I can’t wait.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at