(CBS News) TAMPA, Fla. - The Republican National Convention officially kicked off officially Tuesday night, with major speeches from New Jersey Governor CBSNews.com.
Paul Ryan's big moment, 10:30 p.m. ET
Since he was tapped as Mitt Romney's running mate this month, Republicans have pointed to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as someone who has a unique ability to excite the party base. On Wednesday, Ryan will have his moment to shine. The vice presidential hopeful takes to the stage to address the nation -- and if conventional wisdom is to be believed, he'll introduce his narrative to voters, celebrate the man at the top of the ticket, and articulate the contrast between the Romney-Ryan vision for America and that of President Obama.
Bush 41, 43, on the small screen, 9:30 p.m. ET
Neither George W. Bush nor George H. W. Bush will be taking the convention stage this week, but that doesn't mean the former presidents' presence won't be felt at the convention. Both will be featured in a video that will air on Wednesday night - and Jeb Bush, younger brother of George W., will take the stage Thursday night.
Ron Paul's non-speech, 7 p.m. ET
Despite his months-long road to the convention, Ron Paul declined to speak this week: Not only did he not want the Romney campaign to vet his remarks, he was also, according to the New York Times. Nevertheless, the feisty libertarian congressman is being honored in a video during the main event Wednesday night.
Susana Martinez's debut in the spotlight, 10 p.m. ET
Wednesday night features speeches from a number of old-guard politicos - including 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee - but Susana Martinez, the New Mexico Governor, has the night's second-most plum slot, as the lead-in to VP pick Paul Ryan. Martinez, the nation's first Latina governor, is seen as a rising GOP star with the potential to draw in Hispanic voters. On Wednesday, she'll have a chance to take her message to prime time.
All eyes on Hurricane Isaac
As Hurricane Isaac hurtles toward New Orleans, the future of the convention hangs in the balance. For now, the Romney campaign says they're moving full-speed ahead with the planned festivities - and that Romney and Ryan have to become the nominees one way or another. But contingency plans are being made behind the scenes in the event that Hurricane Isaac threatens to become a major national disaster. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has already bowed out from the evening's events, and GOP officials left open the possibility of cancelling the convention program. Convention organizers have noted, however, that if such a tragedy were to come to pass, they'd be in a good position to communicate a message of solidarity and solicit donations for potential victims.
You can see all the speeches live on CBSNews.com, and be sure to check out our web shows from the convention floor at 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET as well as CBS News' televised coverage at 10 p.m. ET.