Sarah Palin and George W. Bush won’t be in Tampa, Fla. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore won’t make the trip to Charlotte, N.C.

And scores of other Republican and Democratic stars are taking a pass as their parties gather for this year’s national conventions.

In some cases, high-wattage politicians weren’t invited to have speaking roles.

Advisers to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are selecting people to stand at the podiums who most fit the message each candidate will try to send. And who won’t steal the spotlight. Other party rock stars are choosing to be on the sidelines because they’re in hard-fought campaigns of their own.

One of the biggest names in the Democratic Party — Secretary of State Clinton — isn’t allowed to attend under the law. But her husband, the former president, will be a featured speaker.

Final preparations are under way for both conventions. Republicans will gather Aug. 27-30 in Florida, where Romney will officially accept the GOP nomination. Democrats convene Sept. 4-6 in North Carolina, where Obama will get the party nod for a second time.