Surprise GOP Speaker at Dem Convention: Jim Leach
On the last day of campaigning before the 2002 midterm elections, President Bush visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa to show his support for Republican candidates and was joined by Iowa Rep. Jim Leach. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
By Mary Ann Akers
DENVER -- Just as the Republican Convention will showcase Sen. Joe Lieberman, Democrats have found their own former party rival to deliver a prime-time speech here at the Democratic National Convention: Jim Leach, the former GOP congressman from Iowa who has endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Leach is scheduled to speak at 10 p.m. ET Monday, the opening night of the convention, according to a copy of the official lineup of convention speakers obtained by The Sleuth. He's sandwiched somewhere between Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, and Caroline Kennedy, who will be delivering a tribute to her ailing uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has brain cancer.
Leach, 65, made a surprise announcement on Aug. 12 that he was crossing party lines to endorse Obama, saying, "This is simply not a time for politics as usual." On that day, he and former GOP senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, among others, announced the formation of Republicans for Obama.