Despite some trepidation about potential violence from protestors and a revolt among the “never Trump” crowd, the first day of RNC’s convention proceeded as planned. The story was the Convention, not the sideshows.
The theme for the day was “Make America Safe.” Many spoke throughout the day, but the crowd was fired up by former New York Mayor and former Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who gave a rousing speech (I’ve seriously never seen him so animated!).
It was capped off by a very well delivered speech from Trump’s wife Melania. Despite the fact that English is a second language for her (she actually speaks five languages), she delivered an inspiring message to an engaged and appreciative crowd on patroitism and love of country.
The most unusual part of the day was the fact that Donald Trump introduced his wife before her speech, actually appearing on the first day. It is unheard of for the candidate to show up before the final day of the convention.
Thanks to a professional and well-prepared Cleveland Police Department, all protests were kept in check. Pro Trump, and Anti-Trump groups demonstrated but no violence erupted.
Our man on the scene, who has been a security consultant for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, noted high level security measures being preparted on Sunday, and especially remarked that his curiousity was picked up by officers on the scene. This is a mark of a vigilante and experienced group of security professionals.
The Never Trump non-Event
During the day, it was an issue that the “never Trump” crowd seemed to have pulled a majority in the requisite ten states to demand a roll call vote on the adoption of the rules as devised by the rules committee. This would have caused a huge delay in the convention (a matter of hours) to call every person, with a very slight chance that the rules would not be approved.
If this were the case, and the rules were not approved, the “never Trump” group was hoping to pass a rule to unbind delegates from their obligation to cast their vote for Trump, and with the further hope that enough of these delegates would defect from Trump to force a second round. Then they would hope that the delegates would select someone else.
Yes, this is as ridiculous as it sounds. The odds of all of these things happening were literally thousands to one against.
As it played out, the rules were accepted on a verbal vote. Then the head of the Utah delegation said he had nine states (not sure where number 10 went) to request the roll call vote. The Chairman responded that three of those states no longer had a majority, and that the six remaining states were not enough. I can only imagine the furious phone calls that were made to pull that off, asking delegates if they really wanted to cause a scene at their national convention.
At that point, despite some jeering for a few minutes it was over. According to the media the floor was in chaos. I watch on streaming video, I didn’t see it. Reporters did flock to interview Utah delegate Mike Lee. He said he was disappointed but seemed to be a good sport about it. This was really a tempest in a teapot.
All in all a good day for Republicans.