Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GOP convention: Day 2

Donald Trump is now the official 2016 presidential nominee of the Republican Party.   It was a night of speeches by establishment Republicans:   Ryan, McConnnell, Christie;   and by two of Trump's adult children, Tiffany and Donald, Jr.

The evening's big surprise was Donald Trump, Jr., who has emerged in this campaign as a political force to be reckoned with in the future, if he wants to be.    His speech was quickly proclaimed by Rachel Maddow to be the best speech yet at the convention.  Other political analysts, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed.

Christie's speech was typical Christie:   both prosecutorial and rabble-rousing.   He pumped up the crowd with a call-and-answer exchange, where he would make a charge against Hillary Clinton, and then say:   "Guilty or not guilty?"    And the crowd would yell back:  "Guilty."    Then they began shouting, "Lock her up."   And it got a little scary.

Bad as Day 1 was for Trump and the GOP, Day 2 was pretty good.   Except that the news of the day was dominated by the plagiarism of Melania's speech Monday night, with several sentences lifted verbatim from Michelle Obama's convention speech in 2008. 

According to Josh Marshall, the draft written by the professional speech writers was rejected, so Melania rewrote it herself with the help of a ghost writer, Meredith McIver, who has written several of Donald Trump's recent books and who is a family friend.   In their working on it, they read the convention speeches by several former first ladies.   So that dominated the news on Day 2, until the evening roll call vote made the Trump nomination official.

Politicians who spoke didn't so much praise Trump as they did demonize Clinton.   Ben Carson even went to far as to link her with "Lucifer," his favorite avatar of the devil.  And Christie want to put her in jail.   It played well in the hall, but how whether such over-reach convinces the all-important, undecided independents is another story.


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