No-shows at GOP convention
© Getty

Poor Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE. It appears very few GOP leaders want to speak, or even be seen, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland beginning Monday. If I didn't know better, I'd say the Zika virus is more popular among some party leaders than The Donald.

I've been a student of politics since the 1960s. That said, I must say the number of current and former lawmakers staying away is staggering. Even big-name sports figures are begging off. Don't tell me, each one is going in for a colonoscopy instead of attending the convention.

As of this writing, here is a partial list of people I've heard who are planning to be convention no-shows:

They all plan to be AWOL.

Just like Trump's unconventional strategy of capturing the Republican Party's presidential nomination, this year's convention promises to be equally unconventional. For the first time in years, corporate sponsors like Chase, Ford, JPMorgan Chase, Motorola, Walgreens and Wells Fargo have declined to participate.

I know politicos like Sarah Palin, Ben Carson and Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannTom Petty dies at 66 Bachmann: Muslim immigrants trying to undermine Western civilization Religious leaders pray over Trump in Oval Office MORE would like to hear Trump address the convention delegates every night, but that's not going to happen. The last I heard, organizers simply were saying, "Stay tuned. The line up of speakers is going to be exciting."

I sure hope that's true because, if it isn't, I'm guessing the networks will be cutting away from Cleveland to the Bushes, 41 and 43, sitting together in Maine watching reruns of "The West Wing." That would speak volumes about the convention, wouldn't it?

Freidenrich writes from Laguna Beach, California. His letters and commentaries have run in the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register and many other newspapers. He can be reached on Twitter @freidomreport.