Washington, Aug 27: Indian-American South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been retained as prime time speaker at the Republican national convention, but would now be addressing thousands of her party colleagues tomorrow instead of today as scheduled earlier due to tropical storm Isaac.
Haley arrived in Tampa yesterday to attend the Republican National Convention (RNC) and prepare for what is being said as the most important speech of her life so far. She would not only be addressing thousands of partymen from across the country in Tampa but would also be watched by millions of Americans tomorrow night during prime time. She was earlier scheduled to address today during the prime time.
In view of tropical storm Isaac hitting Florida as a hurricane, the RNC was forced to cancel today's programs, as a result of which the organisers had not only to squeeze in today's speakers to the rest of the three days, but also had to ask some of the speakers to cut short their speeches.
According to Haley's chief of staff Tim Pearson, her speech will sketch her life story as the child of Indian immigrants, discuss her long friendship with the Romneys and underscore her political and policy battles with President Barack Obama. "She is excited," Pearson was quoted as saying by Greenville.
In addition to Haley, another Indian-American Bobby Jindal - the Louisiana Governor - who was earlier scheduled to address the convention tomorrow, has now been scheduled to deliver his speech on Wednesday in the time slot of 8 to 9 pm along prominent among which include Senator John McCain. However, Jindal was not sure if he would be able to attend the convention as storm Isaac was expected to hit his State of Louisiana.
Jindal yesterday announced a state of emergency in his state and was asking people to evacuate from the low laying areas of the State. He said he would not leave the State as long as it's in the storm's crosshairs. "My priority is the safety of our people. And certainly as this storm threatens the public safety here in Louisiana, I'm not going anywhere. As long as we're in harms way, I need to be right here doing my job and that's what I'm going to be doing," Jindal said at a news conference.
Several Republican lawmakers from Louisiana too have cancelled their trip to Tampa in view of the storm. In fact, during the 2008 Republican national convention in Minneapolis, Jindal had cancelled his attendance and speech due to Hurricane Gutsav.
However, first Indian-American to address the convention this year would be the Republican 'Young Gun' Ranjit Ricky Gill who would now deliver his speech tomorrow. Gill, 25, is contesting for a Congressional seat in Californian. This is for the first time that three Indian-Americans have been invited to address the Republican national convention; which observers say is a testament to the political rise of this small ethnic community.