Lord knows I'm not a Trump fan, but I have been doing my utmost best to watch the #RNCinCLE, as the Republican National Convention has been hashtagged, in an effort to figure out what the heck the Republicans stand for generally, or what Trump stands for specifically.
Similarly, I'll be watching the DNC next week for the same reason.
Why, I wonder, did the campaign go through all the effort to have each day of the campaign be 'themed' if there was apparently never any intention to pay attention to the theme? They may as well have had a skywriter flying over Cleveland than publishing a schedule and setting expectations for Making America Safe Again, and Making America Work Again, which is how the first two days were tagged.
Monday night was one of the most somber nights of television I can remember, as bruised person after bruised person stepped up to the podium and told tales of losing loved ones in war, in Benghazi, or at the hands of illegal immigrants, or it seemed, generally suffering from endless, crippling malaise.
Thankfully, we had Rudy Giuliani, who at least pumped up the room and brought some energy. And there was Melania Trump, who didn't talk about anything having to do with safety but at least she defended her man, the plagiarism issue notwithstanding. Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr.? They were on stage auditioning for the next round of Celebrity Apprentice; I almost expected Gary Busey and Omarosa to appear on stage with them, or with the Junior Duck Dude. Ted Nugent can't be all that far behind, right? Oh - and yes, again, the Trump campaign used music which they were not authorized to -- We Are the Champions, causing Freddie Mercury to roll in his grave, for sure.
Tuesday night, no one talked about jobs except Donald Trump Jr. who talked about working with blue collar mentors as he and his brother worked their way up in the ranks at the company. I wonder, because I don't recall him mentioning it, whether Ivanka also worked with the cement guys and the sheetrock guys? Chris Christie auditioned for Attorney General; Ben Carson talked about God and Lucifer. I'm not sure what else happened, those were the highlights of what I remembered and I missed Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy - nothing to learn from them.
Tonight is Make America First Again, and so far it's been a quiet night; Laura Ingraham, and some other blond woman, and Eileen Collins spoke. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is up now, and for the first time the most prominent chant is not Lock Her Up, it's America Deserves Better, which is kind of thematic, I guess. He at least put together the two words that the various speakers the rest of the week haven't been able to: Trump Pence. You remember them, right?
I wonder how the Republicans in Washington, particularly the House Majority and the Senate Majority, feel about Walker's attack on do-nothings in Washington that are only making things worse and stifling conservative leadership which is, for better or worse, taking hold in statehouses across the country? Did Walker really imply that we'd all be better off with those two majorities not being in place? Or was that wishful inference on my part?
As I'm writing this, the news just cut away to Donald Trump arriving at the Q center, something that nominees don't do until they accept their party's nomination. That he timed his arrival to ensure a cutaway from Ted Cruz is almost certain.
And what about Ted? He's running for President in 2020, of course. Nothing to wonder about there. He got a rousing cheer when he mentioned the Brexit, and the Constitution, and when he mentioned love. And other than congratulating Trump, he never mentioned the nominee's name. He encouraged his voters to not stay home come November, that too was clear. This was the most fun it's been all week.
If you're Mike Pence, and you're doing your big speech tonight, I wonder how the heck you're going to take the audience back?