It’s time to Break It Down!
Last night was the culmination of 13 months of what can only be appropriately deemed a Trump tour de force. We can now say Trump has been marching inexorably toward the nomination as the Republican’s 2016 candidate for President since June 2015. Last night, Donald J. Trump, Jr. exulted in the dual honor of reading the results of the New York Delegate distribution, and simultaneously putting his father over the requisite 1,237 (of 2,472) Delegates that Party rules require in order for a candidate to clinch the GOP Nomination. There was more business to be handled, for sure, such as Convention Chair Paul Ryan announcing the official tabulated results, but for all practical purposes, it was over when Don, Jr. read the State of New York’s Delegate designation.
The reality, of course, is it ended long before that. It ended when Trump cobbled together sufficient momentum to force his final two GOP Primary competitors, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, to yield and shut down their respective campaigns. A few diehards refused to abandon the notion of Never Trump. This is a concept, by the way, that I repeatedly suggested, quickly after it emerged, had no shot at succeeding.
The Republican National Convention Kicked off Monday. During the afternoon session a few rogue Delegates attempted to launch an insurgency, mainly to disrupt the proceedings, but with no real hope of actually executing any kind of bloodless coup, politically speaking. Trump delegates, Convention Chair Ryan, and Convention Whips made sure noting came of that wild hair.
Having dispensed with the untoward impulses relatively early, the GOP seemed on the road to zeroing in on how best and most fervently to bash Mr. Trump’s opponent in the November Election, Hillary Clinton. However, the highlight of Monday evening festivities was to be a featured appearance by Melania Trump, who was tasked with the unenviable assignment of humanizing the candidate, her husband. By most accounts, her speech was successful, if not in providing any special anecdotes or insights about her husband or his psyche, in casting her as and individual who could proficiently calm her nerves long enough to read from a teleprompter (Donald must be really proud) and convey how she transitioned from having been an immigrant to becoming a citizen…the right way.
While the early feedback noted that she did not accomplish Job 1, framing Donald in a softer light, she did, as a non-politician, hold her own in front of God, a teleprompter, a packed arena, and a television audience of tens of millions. Granted, her husband is the politician, not her, so she should get points for completing the assignment without committing any discernible faux pas. But wait, before the Quicken Loans Arena could be cleared (Monday evening’s proceedings did run long), a counter-theme emerged. It appeared, in weaving her story of the evening, Mrs. Trump may have appropriated substantial parts of several passages from a speech that Mrs. Obama delivered during the 2008 Democratic Convention. There is much more that could be said about this matter, but I suspect you’ve already seen or heard it. In the unlikely event you missed it see the last link below.
Back to the subject at hand, the title makes clear this post focuses on Donald Trump’s biggest victory to date in his quest to become President of the United States. You may recall, the magic number GOP candidates were aiming for and needed to become the Party’s nominee was 1,237. Here is a breakdown of the total Delegates won by candidate:
- Donald Trump – 1,725 (1,237 Required)
- Ted Cruz – 475
- John Kasich – 120
- Marco Rubio – 114
- Ben Carson – 7
- Jeb Bush – 3
- Rand Paul – 2
When one thinks back and recalls that at one point the Republican field of candidates consisted of 17 candidates, it is certainly appropriate to appreciate that Donald Trump not only survived the crucible of a rigorous campaign, he fundamentally restructured the Republican Party. It may not have a revolution, in Bernie Sanders parlance, but it certainly was a revolt. That may sound extreme at first glance, but think about it in big picture terms. In June of 2015, when he announced his candidacy, Trump’s odds of winning the GOP Nomination were slim, possibly slim and none. While it is conceivable that Ben Carson, and or, Carly Fiorina had longer odds, being a Black Republican or a woman (and like Trump, having no previous political experience) and all, virtually every other candidate was high on the scale of political hierarchy that includes Governors, former Governors, and Senators.
For a little perspective, here is a list of Mr. Trump’s 16 vanquished rivals:
- Jeb Bush (Former Governor of Florida)
- Ben Carson (Retired Neurosurgeon)
- Chris Christie (New Jersey Governor)
- Ted Cruz (U.S. Senator, Texas)
- Carly Fiorina (Former Business Executive)
- Jim Gilmore (Former Virginia Governor)
- Lindsey Graham (U.S. Senator, South Carolina)
- Mike Huckabee (Former Governor of Arkansas)
- Bobby Jindal (Former Governor of Louisiana)
- John Kasich (Governor of Ohio)
- George Pataki (Former Governor of New York)
- Rand Paul (United States Senator, Kentucky)
- Rick Perry (Former Governor, Texas)
- Marco Rubio (U.S. Senator, Florida)
- Rick Santorum (Former U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania)
- Scott Walker (Governor of Wisconsin)
To go even further back down memory lane, there were times in the early going when many, if not most folks, thought Trump would never actually enter the race, and then a prevailing sentiment was he never release a Financial Statement, and I’m sure almost everyone knows he still has not released his taxes. This last point should not be downplayed. Every candidate since Richard Nixon has done so. By flouting convention and refusing to do so, Mr. Trump is almost certainly setting a precedent that others will surely follow in the future.
The Convention is halfway over. Last night, Tiffany and Donald Trump, Jr., (two of Trump’s children) along with Chris Christie and Ben Carson spoke. From my vantage point, Tiffany gave the speech folks anticipated Melania might have, and Don, Jr. spoke, both about his father and about the political dynamics of the country. He may have been the star of the evening. Christie assiduously prosecuted Hillary Clinton for the vast array of Republican grievances, while Carson ridiculed her links to Saul Alinsky…and his links to Lucifer, and therefore, her links to Lucifer. You had to see it to appreciate it, or to not appreciate it sufficiently.
Just for kicks, last night’s speakers mentioned Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton a lot. However, it is worth noting that, according to CNN, they mentioned Clinton more – Trump 61, Clinton 79. Nothing will unify the GOP like voicing opposition to the Clintons. While we’re at it, it is also interesting to note that 80 (3%) of the 2,472 Delegates to the Convention are African American. That’s more than at Romney’s Convention in 2012, so I suppose the GOP can feel pretty good about itself on that score. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats can match the GOP’s enthusiasm. I’m confident they will exceed the level of diversity.
Tonight’s speakers will include Newt Gingrich, his wife Callista, and Trump’s son Eric. The Party’s Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence will also appear. Then of course, Thursday will mark the piece de resistance, when Trump and Pence will officially accept their Nominations. Each day of the Convention has bee thematically labeled. The themes and days were paired, as follows:
- Monday – Make America Safe Again
- Tuesday – Make America Work Again
- Wednesday – Make America First Again
- Thursday – Make America One Again
Don’t worry about the themes though. If last night was any indication, adherence to it may be hit or miss. I will certainly not suggest the Convention has been compelling TV.
The Party and Mr. Trump will likely feel much better about last night’s session than the one Monday night. It is unlikely Tuesday’s speakers will have anything approaching the SNAFU emanating from Melania’s “borrowed” comments,” which Trump and the Party denied, deflected, and/or took an opportunity to dissemble when discussing (as is the Trump-world fact-free way).
Don Jr., however, did not escape scrutiny. As it turns out, Huffington Post reported he did use words from a passage in the May issue of a conservative periodical called “The American Conservative.” According to HuffPo, the author of the article, F.H. Buckley assisted Trump with his speech, and granted him permission to use the passage in question. The bottom line is, this is not deemed to be as serious as Melania’s case. I can look ahead and see that this will be an issue moving froward. Look out Philly! See the next-to-the-last link for a more detailed discussion of this instance. This brings me full circle back to the main point…”Trump Towers Over the Never Trump Movement: Drops the Title ‘Presumptive!”‘
I’m done; holla back!
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