Perhaps it’s by design that the 2016 Republican National Convention would not — could not — follow the cookie-cutter design of conventions of the recent past. After all, 17 candidates were at one time running for the party’s presidential nomination. And the most unconventional candidate of any — Donald Trump — came out on top.
Trump’s flair for grandeur, unpredictability and frank talk combined with fissures within the Republican party over the bitter primary election raised expectations for a raucous convention.
There has been little disappointment.
From Monday night’s controversy over Melania Trump’s speech to Tuesday’s mock trial of Hillary Clinton to Wednesday’s booing of Ted Cruz for refusing to endorse Donald Trump, this week’s conclave has met those expectations.
Trump now has to summon all of his natural charisma and impresario instincts to deliver an acceptance speech that can bring Republicans together and convince a large swath of undecided voters that he can be their next president of the United States.
Republican Party Reborn: The Underdogs Become the Champions
Patrick Howley – Breitbart
The Republican Party has been liberated from the corrupting forces of globalist special interests. The Republican Party of losers and grifters has been replaced by a new party, rising from the ashes of George W. Bush and John Boehner. This new party has whites, blacks, browns, Asians, and everything else.
These are the dreamers who are coming out of the shadows as Donald Trump supporters. These are the undocumented Republicans who are finally proving their power with ballots….
Trump supporters see themselves as bound by common sense, empathy, judgment, and kindness. They come together to build their movement, to keep it going, and to welcome in new friends.
Missing at the Convention: The Grand Old Party
A.B. Stoddard – Real Clear Politics
The three-legged GOP stool — strong national defense, social conservatism and free market economic principles paired with limited government — broke a while ago and has been ejected from the tent. This is now the party of Trump, of disgust with elites and “globalism” and open borders….
On display this week in Cleveland is that — at the moment — the core of the party is Hillary-hate. That revulsion fuels everything in the current GOP; there is no other bonding agent that can remotely hold the disparate factions and warring coalitions together like their outrage over the prospect of President Hillary.
Fear and loathing have kept Republicans together, and will through November. But should Trump win, some Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz will turn on him immediately, along with the Democrats. Gone will be the connective tissue they have relied on — Clinton and President Obama — and the Republican Party will be forced to find something to agree on.
GOP Convention Has Been a Stomach-Churning Affair
Jonah Goldberg – National Review
Before telephones and modern transportation, the only way for a political party to form a consensus around a candidate was to actually meet face to face. Negotiating complicated deals by mail is hard (and risky; many political bargains are best not put in writing). A convention was the way to do that. The goal wasn’t to pick a candidate whom a bare majority or slim plurality of delegates loved and a large minority couldn’t stand. It was to find the candidate most acceptable to the most people….
Since the rise of the modern primary system, we switched to the practice of putting it all up for a vote. Whoever gets a majority of delegates in primary elections is the nominee. This wasn’t a problem most years because all of the candidates were ultimately acceptable to the party….
This time is different. Countless leading Republicans skipped this convention, including all of the living previous nominees, save for Bob Dole.
All Trump Has to Do Now Is Deliver the Speech of His Life
Michael Goodwin – New York Post
Trump must convince about 65 million Americans that he is ready and able to be president.
Establishing that belief in voters’ minds is the ultimate purpose of a convention. When it happens, the process is a quasi-religious conversion. Instead of a mere candidate, the nominee takes on the aura of a potential president-in-waiting. From that point on, the campaign is more of a quest than an experiment, and the possibility of victory becomes realistic.
That conversion is absolutely necessary in Trump’s case because of widespread doubts that he is fit for the Oval Office. His lack of experience, combined with missteps, misstatements and a tendency to shoot first and aim later leave him with a steep hill to climb.
The Speech Donald Trump Should Give Tonight to Win it All
Monica Crowley – The Washington Times
When he steps onstage tonight, he should channel two of the most extraordinary leaders in recent memory who also reinvented politics and changed their nations’ trajectories with principle, courage and an unsinkable happy warrior spirit: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
In fact, he’d be wise to start with Mrs. Thatcher…She struck a chord that made her and her political soulmate, Mr. Reagan, extremely effective reformers. They believed in their nations. They believed in their people. And they believed in the regenerative dynamism of liberty. In times of crisis, we have always created our own antibodies for survival and a return to full health.