Republican heavy hitters come to Memphis

Some big names in politics will gather in Memphis starting today. Names like John McCain and Bill Frist just to name a few.

They're all here for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and those attending have a lot of big issues on their minds. Delegates will begin filing into the Peabody Hotel this morning.

On the schedule today, Senator Lamar Alexander is set to address the crowd during the opening general session at one o'clock. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Senator John McCain are scheduled to speak during the Evening General Session that begins at 8.

And no doubt one of the hottest topics they'll be talking about is the now defunct American Ports deal with Dubai. GOP leaders breathed a sigh of relief when an anticipated showdown between Republicans and the Bush administration was averted. A firm owned by the government of Dubai dropped plans to take over management of some U.S ports. Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle were poised to try and kill the deal despite a veto threat.

A decision to go against the President in an election year could have been dangerous for Republican leaders with 2008 White House hopes. Many of whom are here in Memphis this weekend. Political analysts are going to be watching what goes on in the Bluff City closely in order to figure out how GOP members who were ready to go toe-to-toe with the President will align themselves now that the deal is dead.