One down, one to go! Donald Trump and the Republican National Convention have now had their political party in Cleveland. Up next, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
So…while we have about 48 hours to catch our breath, let’s take a brief look back at the highs and lows of the recent GOP gathering. We’ll do the same for the Dems when their meeting is over.
In Cleveland, Trump was clearly the biggest highlight of the week even though he ignored that wise old saying, “You don’t have to be eternal to be memorable!” A 75-minute presidential nomination acceptance speech. Ouch! Can you imagine how long his inaugural and State of the Union speeches would be if American voters elevate him to the White House? We, the media, would have to pack breakfast, lunch, dinner…and a late night snack.
Ok, to be fair, Trump wanted to cover all the bases in his biggest speech ever. I don’t think he missed any topics he has discussed on the campaign trail over the last year. The New York billionaire and reality TV star did a good job laying out his view of the problems facing America. He skillfully used his platform to rally his anti-establishment supporters and many lukewarm GOP loyalists to his side. Trump’s selection of former Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his VP running mate was an important nod to the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Now, Trump and Pence will have to spend the next few months specifically explaining their plans to fix America and its relationship with the rest of the world. If those of us in the Fourth Estate let these candidates go unchallenged, shame on us!
Trump’s children did a good job delivering their speeches. Standing in that national spotlight isn’t easy. And, if there hadn’t been embarrassing plagiarizing problems with Melania’s speech, the family would have hit a grand slam.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presentation at the convention proved why he is widely viewed as an intellectual scholar. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani came across as an angry one-time presidential wannabe. And Texas Senator Ted Cruz? He either loves being the most disliked Senator in America or - if Trump and Pence don’t win in November - he’ll be back in 2020 asking, “Ready for me now?”
Democrats, we’re ready for your turn in the spotlight!