We’ve finally arrived at the 2016 Republican National Convention. The RNC has released its schedule of events, as shown here by Breitbart, which may or may not be seating Trump delegates on the convention floor. The event runs from Monday through Thursday, culminating in the Republican Party nominating Donald Trump for President of the United States. (Unbelievable.) Then we’ll eagerly await polls before the Democrats respond with their own convention next week.
Trump and Company (which I’m almost positive was a Winston Groom sequel to Forrest Trump), boasts one theme on each night of the convention. The themes, with headline and undercard speakers, are as follows:
Monday: Make America Safe Again (Focusing on national security)
Headliners: Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jason Beardsley and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont.).
Also speaking: Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, actor Scott Baio, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. Jeff Sessions and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Tuesday: Make America Work Again (Focusing on the economy)
Headliners: Tiffany Trump, Kerry Woolard, Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Ben Carson and Kimberlin Brown.
Also speaking: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Wednesday: Make America First Again (Focusing on… the Olympics?)
Headliners: Lynne Patton; Eric Trump; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the presumptive vice-presidential nominee.
Also speaking: Radio host Laura Ingraham, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who finishes as Trump’s runner-up.
Thursday: Make America One Again (Condemning divisiveness while simultaneously furthering it)
Headliners: Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump
Also speaking: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr..
1) Each day has a speaker to which I’m most looking forward:
- Monday: Lt. General Michael Flynn. Last month, I thought he should be on Trump’s shortlist. A few weeks later, reports suggested he might in fact be on it. Then he kind of came out in favor of allowing abortion, but the Republican Party is kind of in favor of it being considered murder. So that didn’t work out. But Flynn, as a former Democratic member of the President’s administration, can be an effective critic of Obama on foreign policy and national security.
- Tuesday: Dr. Ben Carson. I’m so glad, at such a serious event and in such sobering times, the RNC insisted on comic relief.
- Wednesday: Newt Gingrich. Still the smartest guy in the party, as he will be until the day he dies or Stephen Hawking becomes a Republican, whichever comes first.
- Thursday: Who else? Donald Trump hasn’t had this much pressure on him since acting opposite Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2.
2) How about the Trump family! We get at least one member each night. Here are PPFA’s Trump Family Power Rankings:
- Ivanka Trump: You’ll see.
- Donald Trump Sr.: The Republican nominee for president. Not too shabby, but he’s no Ivanka.
- Melania Trump: Perhaps Chris Matthews would place her higher.
- (Tied for last) Eric Trump & Donald Trump Jr.: I am not impressed with our 47th and 49th presidents.
Unranked: Tiffany Trump. Not even I can rank the “mystery daughter.”
3) After the tumultuous primary, can Cruz and Rubio make pro-Trump arguments? Does either put forward a thesis for why Trump will be a great president, or will they merely fall back on why Clinton will be a bad one? (Bernie Sanders faces a parallel predicament on the other side.)
4) Finally, predictions:
- Record-setting convention ratings. Trump’s presence is an excellent way to get the Republican message heard. It remains to be seen, however, if he’s the best messenger.
- Republican voters on the fence about Trump will come away as supporters. The motifs of the convention and his speech will be a relentless dismantling of the Obama/Clinton legacy, a furious rattling of the American saber, and a string of promises to lower taxes, protect our workers, and
heelheal our country. He can talk the GOP’s language when he wants to, and many Republicans are dying to fall for it.
- Icy Republican #NeverTrumpers will thaw. Their resolve will erode.
- As a result, Trump’s polling numbers will climb. He’ll get a convention bounce better than McCain’s and Romney’s because the party was already almost fully on board with them before the convention. It’s been a while since a nominee of either party had this much room for growth. As of now, Clinton leads most polls and her average national margin is +3.2. Next week, I wouldn’t rule out Trump leading as often as he trails, and the candidates will be neck and neck in the average.
- Then, of course, the
EmpireDemocratic Party strikes back.