Scott Lasley is an Associate Professor in Western Kentucky University’s Department of Political Science. He is attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week. During the week, Professor Lasley will be providing a Kentucky perspective to the activities at the Republican National Convention.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
The Republican National Convention continued to ramp up Wednesday evening with vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan headlining the evening’s speakers. Additional speakers for the night included 2008 presidential nominee John McCain and former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. Rice received thunderous applause after speaking. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez who preceded Ryan also gave a speech that was very well received.
Kentucky’s two U.S. senators spoke earlier in the evening and are both very much in the spotlight here. Senior Senator Mitch McConnell opened the evening schedule and is hoping that Republicans pick enough Senate seats up to become Senate Majority Leader in January.
Junior Senator Paul is receiving attention for a number of reasons including the future of his father Ron Paul’s liberty movement. While some view Senator Paul as someone who can build on and expand Ron Paul’s legacy, some members of the liberty movement are a bit leery of the changing of the guard. Senator Paul is also receiving significant attention for his role as a tea party leader and is seen by many as one who can ensure a bridge between tea party organizations and the more entrenched party establishment. Senator Paul is also figuring in much of the early 2016 presidential election speculation if President Obama goes on to win reelection.
During his speech Senator Paul again reinforced his endorsement of nominee Mitt Romney. He also highlighted the story of several Bowling Green residents. He spoke of brothers Hung and Thuan Trinh and also shared the story of Taing family who operates the Great American Donut Shop.