Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), and his wife Ann Romney wave to the crowd during a campaign stop. (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) - Ann Romney will help launch the Republican National Convention next week with a featured speaking slot on the opening night of the Tampa event.
The wife of the GOP presidential contender will cap an evening that begins with remarks from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who will preside over the GOP gathering Aug. 27-30 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The theme for Aug. 27 is "We Can Do Better."
Ann Romney is considered Mitt Romney's secret weapon and has been a popular surrogate for him on the campaign trail.
While the candidate is perhaps best known as a former Massachusetts governor or as the ex-CEO of Bain Capital, his wife often talks about how he is funny and not as stiff as he sometimes comes across.
Mrs. Romney's appearance will serve as one bookend to the GOP convention, which is expected to draw nearly 50,000 to Tampa. Mitt Romney will formally accept the GOP nomination at the end of the convention on Thursday, Aug. 30, after an introduction by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the GOP's keynote address during convention week.