For Gov. Mary Fallin to speak at the Republican Party's national convention will cast a positive light on our state, but an even better light on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That's because the Romney camp is clearly focused on highlighting the diversity of the Republican Party.
The implied message sent by the choice of speakers for a convention that begins Aug. 27 is that the GOP's conservative policies increase opportunity for all. This inclusive message contrasts nicely with Barack Obama's divisive rhetoric.
Fallin is just one of several “nontraditional” Republicans who will be featured. Several high-profile women will be addressing convention delegates. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a black woman with broad foreign policy credentials, is one of the most notable. Her broad appeal and undeniable personal accomplishments are a testament to the greatness of the United States.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is a living example of the immigrant success story. Her parents moved to the United States from India. Although a Christian today, she was raised a Sikh — which is especially relevant following the recent attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is Hispanic and has an impressive background as a prosecutor. She will no doubt aid Republican efforts to target that increasingly important block of voters.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's famous last name may increase his prominence, but his efforts to improve educational opportunities for children, especially low-income black and Hispanic children, also plays well to the Republican message of opportunity and diversity.
Fallin is proof that female leadership and conservative beliefs have broad appeal. She has one of the highest approval ratings of any governor.
The Republican Party was founded to oppose slavery and racism and to support opportunity for all. With Romney as its nominee, the GOP is still raising that banner today.