TAMPA, Fla. — Using an Oklahoma City oilman as an example, Gov. Mary Fallin plans to promote Oklahoma's wildcat spirit and its recent economic success in her prime time speech here Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, the governor said Monday.
Fallin, whose eight-minute speech is expected to occur about 7:15 p.m. Central time, said she would talk about the “spirit of Oklahoma” dating to the land run and its current energy industry success exemplified by Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources.
Hamm, whose company has helped lead a boom in domestic oil production, is the energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In an interview, the governor said telling the state's success story at a convention focused partly on bashing President Barack Obama's economic and energy policies wouldn't contradict the Republican message since she also plans to explain why Romney is qualified to replicate Oklahoma's success across the country.
And though national political conventions have become tightly scripted affairs under the control of the presidential campaigns, Fallin said she got to write her own speech and pick her own dress.
Fallin is speaking on what will now be the first night of the convention. Republican leaders canceled Monday's events because of Tropical Storm Isaac, which lashed this area Monday with gusty winds and intermittent rain but didn't cause the kinds of disruptions that convention organizers feared.
Oklahoma Republican delegates and their guests were not, as feared earlier, confined to their hotel and were able to attend some of the events that went on as planned, including a reception for them hosted by the Choctaw Nation.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett did a rehearsal at the convention site, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, for his Tuesday speech, now expected to be delivered at 3:10 p.m. Central time.
The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and hit parts of the Gulf Coast by Wednesday.
Fallin said it was too early to tell whether the convention would be affected again by Isaac.
“We'll just have to wait and see what the storm actually does,” she said. “We certainly want to keep people safe across the nation, and we're very mindful that just seven years ago New Orleans was struck by a terrible hurricane that did so much damage.
“We're just hopeful and prayerful that it will be easier on them than what it has been in the past.
“But in the meantime, electing a president is the business of the nation, too. Hopefully, we'll be able to do both — keeping people safe from the hurricane and running a successful convention at the same time.”