Handing Santorum a prime speaking slot is a hat tip to his underdog presidential campaign. The under-funded, little-known former senator notched a surprising upset in Iowa, where his brand of social conservatism played well among activists. Santorum has been aggressive about wanting a speaking slot. “I have no doubt that we’ll have some role at the convention,” Santorum told CNN last week in an unusually forward statement.

Picking Paul looks like a particularly elegant solution to what might have been a thorny problem. Ron Paul’s campaign didn’t gain traction with voters, but his supporters understood party rules better than other campaigns, giving them the opportunity to win delegate seats at county and state party conventions. Had Paul won a majority of just one more delegation, he would have been allowed to be formally nominated for president, which could have been a hurdle for organizers trying to arrange an event that will serve as a Romney coronation.