Twitchy’s sister site, RedState, has released its first list of speakers for this summer’s annual RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia. Check it out:

Invitations were sent to Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio as well, but RedState is still waiting for word if they’ll be able to attend.

One interesting aspect of this year’s event is how Erick Erickson wants the candidates to present their ideas to the group. In summary, he wants to hear about each candidate’s “vision for the future” and not just “Obama bashing”:

Though I am loathe to ever suggest a topic for speakers, I have asked each of the 2016 candidates to focus on one thing: if they become President, their re-election would be in 2020. I’d like them to present their 2020 vision for what the nation should look like after their first four years. We do not need Obama bashing. We need to know what they would do differently and how they would shape the nation. They should be elected not on their ability to bash the opposition, but their ability to sell a vision for the future that resonances with the base and the nation as a whole. We do not, right now, need a 50 point plan. We need to know what they see as the areas that need fixing and how their fixes will reshape the country.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who we’ve not always agreed with, likes the idea:

Fournier writes:

Erick Erickson, the RedState.com editor who The Atlantic called “the most powerful conservative in America,” has a brilliant idea. […]

It’s a great concept – and organizers of the general election debates should steal it.

Force presidential candidates to dispense with their button-pushing talking points and face the challenges of 2020 and beyond. Put them on record with first- and second-term promises. Challenge them to think through and articulate the multiple stages of problem-solving. Make them publicly grapple with tensions between short-term gains and long-term needs. Encourage them to describe their theories on leadership and management.

Size them up – not just as athletes in a horse race but as what they aim to be: The President.

As we mentioned earlier, this year’s RedState Gathering will take place in Atlanta from August 6 to August 9. Register here.

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