Ted Cruz, who recently beat out Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary for Senate, will get a "key speaking slot" at the Republican National Convention, CNN's Mark Preston reports, giving Romney's Tampa party a little more street cred with the Tea Partiers. As National Journal's Naureen Kahn noted last month, the Convention speaker slots are an important way for Romney to reach out to the group, which wasn't his number one biggest fan constituency during the primaries. Cruz, who had endorsements from the likes of Sarah Palin, speaks the Tea Party lingo, and won a primary fight during which he and the challenger hurled slurs like "moderate," will probably be received well. In terms of national stature, he's nothing more than a first time Senate candidate, but then, so was Barack Obama when he gave the 2004 keynote at the DNC. Speaking of which, we still don't know who this year's Republican keynoter will be, who, along with the vice presidential pick, might either bolster or overshadow this Cruz news—depending on how Tea Party-friendly they are.
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