Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland is decorated to welcome the Republican National Convention. The four-day convention opens Monday. (Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)

Many big-name Republicans currently support Donald Trump; they just don't support him enough to, say, show up at the Republican National Convention next week.

So it was no surprise that the partial list of speakers released Thursday morning by the convention seemed a little, well — random. There are names on the list that aren't even familiar to seasoned political reporters (points to self), and the relative lack of Republican officeholders is rather glaring. There is also the perhaps unsurprising, but still noteworthy, inclusion of billionaires and reality TV and soap opera stars — yes, plural — as well as a couple of speakers whose career highlights include underwear and swimsuit modeling.

Here is a breakdown:

  1. There are as many Trumps speaking (Donald, wife Melania, and kids Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany) as sitting senators (Iowa's Joni Ernst, Texas's Ted Cruz, Alabama's Jeff Sessions, Arkansas' Tom Cotton, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell and West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito). There will be seven sitting House members.
  2. Four out of 31 Republican governors grace the list — and two of them are vice-presidential contenders: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin and New Jersey's Chris Christie. The other two are Florida's Rick Scott and Wisconsin's Scott Walker.
  3. There are some sports figures, but not the big, big names such as Mike Tyson, Tom Brady, Don King, Bobby Knight or Mike Ditka, who have been mentioned as possible speakers. On the list are the head of Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White, former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow (Updated: Despite reports that he would appear, Tebow says he will not) and female golfer Natalie Gulbis, who is currently ranked 484th in the world but is a friend of Trump's and has posed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
  4. The list includes four of the 750 richest men in the world and more than 1 percent of the 300 richest men in the United States: Trump (currently No. 324 on Forbes's ranking of the world's billionaires and No. 113 in the United States), entrepreneur and oilman Harold Hamm (his family is No. 262 worldwide and No. 89 in the United States), Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin (No. 722 worldwide, No. 260 in the United States), and Paypal founder Peter Thiel (No. 638 worldwide, No. 230 in the United States). It also includes real-estate investor Tom Barrack, who previously appeared on Forbes's list of the world's billionaires but has dropped off.
  5. Thiel is also a rare openly gay speaker at a Republican National Convention. According to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, only two other openly gay speakers have appeared at GOP conventions: Log Cabin Republican official Sam Fong in 1996, and then-Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) in 2000. Kolbe's speech was the subject of some protest.
  6. There are two soap opera stars: Antonio Sabato Jr. of "General Hospital" fame and Kimberlin Brown of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful." (Gulbis, the SI swimsuit model golfer, isn't the only speaker to dabble in modeling. Sabato rose to fame as a Calvin Klein underwear model.)
  7.  At least four speakers have appeared on reality television: Trump, Gulbis (who briefly had a show on the Golf Channel), Sabato (multiple reality shows, including "Celebrity Wife Swap," a "Bachelorette"-style show called "My Antonio," and "Dancing with the Stars") and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), who was on "The Real World."
  8. There is only one candidate running in a top 2016 House or Senate race: Colorado GOP Senate nominee Darryl Glenn, whom national Republicans have basically written off as a challenger to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
  9. The list is heavy on Benghazi-related speakers, for a reported Benghazi-themed night. It includes two survivors of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi — Mark Geist and John Tiegen — and Patricia Smith, the mother of one of four Americans killed in Benghazi who has criticized Hillary Clinton's handling of the terrorist attacks. It also includes Karen Vaughn, the mother of a member of SEAL Team Six who died in Afghanistan. Vaughn has called for President Obama's resignation.
  10. Other military figures: the Navy SEAL who authored the book "Lone Survivor," Marcus Luttrell; retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who has been floated as a potential Trump VP; and Kathryn Gates-Skipper, whom the Trump campaign has hailed as the first Marine female combat veteran.
  11. Some of the other names with a Trump connection: Kerry Woolard, general manager of Trump's Virginia winery; Lynne Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation and senior assistant to Eric Trump; Michelle Van Etten, who hasn't carved much of a digital footprint but organized business leaders for Trump in Florida; the head of Korean Americans for Trump, Lisa Shin; and Andy Wist, about whom we would welcome more information, the president of a waterproofing company in the Bronx.
  12. Brock Mealer, a car-crash victim who regained the ability to walk and then did this:

This post has been updated to include additional openly gay speakers from conventions past.


The full list, from the RNC:

  • Pastor Mark Burns                                                     
  • Phil Ruffin                                                               
  • Rep. Ryan Zinke                                        
  • Pat Smith                                                                  
  • Mark Geist                                                                
  • John Tiegen                                                             
  • Rep. Michael McCaul                                 
  • Sheriff David Clarke                                                 
  • Rep. Sean Duffy                                        
  • Darryl Glenn                                                            
  • Sen. Tom Cotton                                                   
  • Karen Vaughn                         
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee                                       
  • Mayor Rudy Giuliani                                              
  • Melania Trump                                                         
  • Sen. Joni Ernst                                               
  • Kathryn Gates-Skipper                            
  • Marcus Luttrell                                         
  • Dana White             
  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson   
  • Attorney General Leslie Rutledge    
  • Michael Mukasey 
  • Andy Wist          
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions        
  • Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn   
  • Alex Smith         
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan
  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy 
  • Kerry Woolard
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito 
  • Dr. Ben Carson
  • Co-Chair Sharon Day
  • Natalie Gulbis
  • Kimberlin Brown
  • Antonio Sabato, Jr.
  • Peter Thiel
  • Eileen Collins
  • Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Michelle Van Etten
  • Lynne Patton
  • Eric Trump
  • Harold Hamm
  • Rep. Chris Collins
  • Brock Mealer
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn
  • Gov. Mary Fallin
  • Darrell Scott
  • Lisa Shin
  • Gov. Rick Scott
  • Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Tom Barrack
  • Ivanka Trump
  • Attorney General Pam Bondi
  • Jerry Falwell Jr.
  • Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
  • Chris Cox
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • Tiffany Trump
  • Gov. Chris Christie
  • Donald J. Trump Jr.
  • Gov. Scott Walker