updated 9/3/2008 12:46:16 PM ET 2008-09-03T16:46:16

Major speakers scheduled for Wednesday's session of the Republican National Convention.

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Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas: He used an easy speaking style, humor and a smile to win over voters on the primary circuit but couldn't garner enough votes to defeat McCain. A conservative favorite, he stayed in the race longer than other McCain rivals, even parlaying that distinction into an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" during which he poked fun at himself.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts: One of McCain's most formidable rivals for the nomination and one with whom he exchanged harsh criticism at times. Romney spent millions from his own fortune for his failed run. Since then, he has praised and campaigned for McCain and turned into a reliable critic of the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York: In 2004 Giuliani welcomed delegates to the convention in his home city. He speaks this time as a former McCain rival urging delegates and others in a keynote address to look at McCain's record as a leader. During the primaries Giuliani said he would support McCain if he didn't win the nomination himself. He endorsed McCain the same day he dropped out of the race.

Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin: Barely known outside her sparsely populated state until McCain picked her to be his running mate, the governor of Alaska has a prime-time audience for her debut in national politics. Palin, 44, a mother of five whose husband worked in the state's oil fields, also brings the point of view of a small-town mayor to the Republican ticket. She has served as governor for less than two years, which raises expectations that she will address her qualifications to step into the presidency as well as tell her unique personal story.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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