Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been added to the speakers' lineup at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference (RLC), which will take place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside May 29-31. Already announced as speakers: Gov. Bobby Jindal, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Florida U.S. Rep. Allen West, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and tycoon Donald Trump.
The RLC, which has been held in New Orleans the last few years, is seen as a place for those in the American conservative movement to shore up their constituencies (and fan bases), as well as a platform for those eying a presidential run. Its presidential straw poll gets lots of attention, but has not always reflected the eventual nominee. At the 2012 RLC, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney (the eventual nominee) topped then-Texas Rep. Ron Paul by exactly one vote. In 2011, Paul topped the poll with more votes than his second- and third-place challengers (Bachmann and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman) combined.