Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is one of six headline speakers scheduled to address the Republican National Convention later this month, the GOP announced Thursday.
It's a consolation prize of sorts for McDonnell and a handful of other Republicans, who were passed over this weekend when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tapped Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.
Other also-ran VP contenders, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, also will have prominent speaking roles in Tampa starting Aug. 27, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said.
Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis, a one-time President Obama supporter and Democrat turned Republican, and Rep. Connie Mack of Florida will also headline. Davis has campaigned in Virginia often of late as the GOP hopes to nationalize his defection from the Democratic Party.
"The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future," Priebus said. "Former Congressman Davis especially will give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction."
McDonnell already has a prominent role at the convention as chairman of the platform committee, which will begin a series of meetings on the eve of the convention. In that position, he'll referee a debate on what position the party will take on major issues, with some conservatives already hoping to pull the GOP further right.
McDonnell is also chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
"I am excited to be a part of the Republican National Convention that will help send Mitt Romney to the White House," McDonnell said. "Gov. Romney is a proven job-creator who knows that in order to grow our national economy, government has to be run like a business -- we need to cut spending, demand accountability and results, and live within our means. It has worked in Virginia and it will work for America."