God Morning

MONDAY- Republican Power Politics

Greetings from Cleveland - the center of Republican power politics. And that's exactly what this party and country need - a show of power. A reflection of the grit and determination we as a nation crave in the wake of all this tragedy and senseless horror. 

The buzz this morn in LeBron's city is speakers - the lineup of luminaries who will help propel this campaign and national party to victory - not just the top of the ticket, but the entire party. I spoke with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last night and he is ready to go this afternoon!  The same for former Texas Gov Rick Perry. Look for both of these successful and measured pols to contribute to the case on why Republicans are better suited to lead in this time of racial and political unrest. 

More than Trump and the hype, we need stability and a calming force, and it's up to every elected official in the GOP to carry this message.

If we're honest, we've lost that national/domestic security advantage among Americans, and Democrats have clearly not filled the vacuum.  In fact, they are in full-blown arrested development given what we've seen these past few weeks. 

There is racism in the Baton Eouge shooting yesterday. No question about it. And if this president can't honestly call that ambush of police for what it is, then the dearth of leadership only widens for Democrats. 

Even though it will be perceived differently, this is beyond party politics. We need unity across the country - to call out any and all forms of racism.  Trump seems ready to stand in the gap. The current climate favors his campaign. 

 TUESDAY- Melania Trump Speech

Melania Trump’s formal introduction to the nation at The Republican Convention in Cleveland, Ohio revealed her to be a gracious, compassionate, beautiful and determined lady.  Melania’s relaxed, confident and dignified manner stood in some contrast to other public appearances in which she seemed uncomfortable with suddenly being thrust into the national spotlight.   We learned a lot about Mrs. Trump that we did not know before, including her childhood in Slovenia and her journey to citizenship in America.  We learned of her hard work, her passion for business and fashion, and her love of family and country. Standing on the floor of the convention, the atmosphere during Melania’s speech was electric and at times almost spell-bound.  For me and many others in attendance it felt like a Jackie Kennedy-esque moment.  People were blown away by the image of a glamorous, slightly demure and yet surprisingly down to earth person who reached the height of success in our country despite humble beginnings.  That is the beauty of the Melania moment - and it was not lost on the crowd, who all opened their hearts to her and accepted her as one of their own.

The exact words that Melania read from her prepared remarks paled in comparison to the powerful connection she established with the live audience and the more than 35 million people who watched from home on television.  While there has been some controversy over the vetting of the final draft of the speech, the controversy is not likely to be a lasting one. When people look back and remember Melania’s moment – it won’t be because her words seemed to mimic the standard phrases used in many, many political speeches.  People will remember the furtive, and yet graceful first steps of a future First Lady of the United States. One thing is for sure, this week in Cleveland will be a Convention for the ages.

No one expected Melania’s remarks to wow them – after all, until a year ago she was the wife of a celebrity entrepreneur, not a politician.  Having been married to Donald Trump for almost eighteen years, it is doubtful that she ever contemplated that she would be sitting next to the nominee for the President of the United States.  But as a coming out party for an intensely private person taking the national spotlight for the first time, Melania’s performance truly knocked it out of the park. 




Template. Model. Paradigm. Playbook. These are the terms of a modern-day political campaign; how any organization positioning to win the highest office in the land should follow, act and pursue. 

And yet to the Trump campaign, they represent old-school, establishment thinking. They are anathema to his very identity and what he seeks to bring to the Republican Party. 

I'm not sure how I feel about that approach. I've watched and reported on politics and parties for decades now. And like others, I haven't really seen anything like this. 

But irrespective of how I feel, watching the speeches last night from his son, daughter and others - in addition to the individuals the night before - it is evident there is no template being followed. Yet here's the point: it doesn't seem to matter. 

The conventioneers don't seem to care. Republican voters don't seem to care. Time will tell if Trump gets the traditional 5-point bounce coming out of the GOP nominee's party convention, but even then that may not matter. 

I heard one commentator the other night that this is a 50-50 race. Why?  Because voters lie!  The polls can't and won't accurately capture the true feelings of the electorate for myriad reasons. If that is true, this will be a truly historic election. And it will be felt up and down the ticket. 

One thing is certain: the press is beside itself in ascertaining and predicting what this convention means. They're trying to assign patterns and recipes that all end in a fait accompli (aka disaster) for this candidacy. But even that is defying the chapters in some time-honored playbook collecting dust.

Stay tuned America!!  Tonight promises only more unorthodox activity and antics!