Attention, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Brian Sandoval, Paul Ryan and anyone else who thinks they deserve a prominent speaking role at this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa: Please direct your inquiries to Anne Hathaway.
Hathaway, the Indiana-based political operative and former Republican National Committee chief of staff, will serve as the convention's program director, the committee announced yesterday. She'll be responsible for crafting a speaker's roster to showcase both presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party at large over four nights in Tampa.
It's a prestigious position -- and one that will put her square in the cross hairs of anyone who wants time at the rostrum. Hathaway's job over the next three months will be to orchestrate an agenda that includes the party's rising stars and old bulls alike, building themes that spotlight the message Romney and the GOP will take with them toward the general election.
And it means Hathaway will have to get used to saying no to a lot of high-powered people within her own party. I wrote about the delicacy with which past programming directors have had to handle their jobs: They have a limited amount of time (networks haven't made their final plans, but they're likely to provide just an hour of coverage per night over the GOP convention's four nights), which means big voices within the party have to compete for every second of valuable television time.