First group of convention speakers announced

As the Republican National Convention nears, names of speakers and platform committee members are being announced.

The speakers, so far, include a few familiar faces in Republican circles, such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and GOP primary candidate Rick Santorum. Additionally, the list boasts a number of governors, including Susana Martinez (New Mexico), John Kasich (Ohio), Rick Scott (Fla.), Mary Fallin (Okla.), and Nikki Haley (South Carolina).

Newt Gingrich has been tapped to teach a series of workshops nicknamed Newt University, the New York Times reported.

Some are speculating that the choice of speakers is intended to attract a more diverse voting pool. At least three Hispanic speakers have been chosen, including Martinez, congressional candidate Ted Cruz (Tex.), and Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño. The Washington Post???s Sean Sullivan argued that the choices also signify a Republican effort to reach out to women. ???[Fallin???s] selection further underscores Republicans??? desire to make inroads with women, especially at a time when Democrats are charging Republicans with waging a ???war on women.??????

The Republican platform committee is headed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and co-chaired by Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Possible discussion points for the platform include a Federal Reserve Audit; Romney spoke favorably about the idea on August 3.

Also, the Log Cabin Republicans, who represent gay and lesbian GOP members, have said they are aiding the platform committee with editing their stance on traditional marriage to make the language ???more inclusive.???