Thursday, July 21, 2016

GOP Convention Day 3: Cruz stole the news cycle

The task for the GOP convention in Cleveland was to unify the party.   It didn't.    

An attempt to unbind the delegates that got squashed by the Rules Committee.   Then on the floor a request by a few states simply to have a roll call vote on the rules was steamrolled by the chair who didn't even recognize their request. The Colorado delegation walked out.   So that, rather than unity, became the news.

Day 1:   The news of the day became rumble in the ranks and a significant number of votes for someone other than the nominee.   Not helpful.

Day 2:   The speakers tried to bring unity through viciously attacking a common enemy:   Hillary Clinton.   That was pretty bad, with Christie getting the audience to shout "lock her up."   But the news of the day Tuesday and throughout the day Wednesday was the plagiarism in Melania Trump's Monday night speech and the ineptitude of the campaign in handling that inconvenient, proven fact.   Not good.

Day 3:   This was to be VP nominee Mike Pence's big night delivering his acceptance speech.   He did a credible job.   But the news wasn't about him or his speech.  Again, negative news dominated the headlines and the conversation.   This time it was Ted Cruz getting his revenge on Donald Trump -- and trying to grab the mantle of true conservative candidate for the 2020 election.   Very bad for unifying the party.

Trump had said that no one would speak at the convention that had not endorsed him.   This left Cruz out -- until a few weeks ago, we heard that they had come to an agreement.  Cruz would speak, without any commitment to endorse.   It was a gamble on Trump's part -- but then to go further and give him a prime time slot just shortly before Pence's acceptance speech was foolish planning.

Cruz gave what true conservatives considered a great speech and a direction for the future -- and he played it coy enough that he had the audience thinking his next sentence was going to be an endorsement.   But, with that devilish smirk he gets on his face, he ended by telling people to "vote your conscience in November."   The crowd began demanding "endorse Trump, endorse Trump" -- and when he still didn't, they booed and booed.   His speech was finished anyway, but he left the stage to a loud, angry crowd booing and jeerying him.    Cruz's wife was escorted off the floor by security guards for her own safety.

So that's how Day 3 ended -- and guaranteed that Ted Cruz will be the news on Day 4.   Unity?   Maybe they'll unite against Ted Cruz -- except that he has a pretty good number of delegates supporting him.   It's not the convention GOP leaders wanted and needed.    Now it all rests on Trump himself and his acceptance speech tonight.   Can he unify the party?


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