What a week! The scenes this week made Game of Thrones look like a cartoon on the Nickelodeon network. Wild stuff. On my best day, I couldn't have written a script such as this! A quick review on my picks of winners and losers this week:
Donald Trump: The best speech and truly delivered a convincing chronology against Hillary Clinton: "The status quo isn't working and Hillary Clinton is to blame... I am the law and order candidate...I am your Voice...The world is in crisis at home and abroad.... American inner cities have robbed African American's of the American Dream."
Trump Clearly sent a message that was inclusive of all his countrymen. No question this was his convention , and now this is officially his campaign. Yes, it was true to form:
clumsy, poorly-run, but full of surprises and fiery rhetoric and saving his best speech when it mattered most, to remind the crowds of his one signature slogan - Make America Great Again.
Trump family: All I could think as I watched those kids was how young they were, yet how comfortable they looked on stage in such preeminent spots. Ivanka showed she can draw her own constituency and help Team Trump, particularly with those independent tones whe struck Thursday evening.Losers:
Mike Pence: Solid speech Wednesday night; presidential even... For my money, he made the most articulate case to date for why Donald Trump should be president. That's a good thing, because he sure needed to do that. The conventioneers I am talking with welcome that balance and maturity. Maturity that appeals to establishment Republicans, and can help salve the wounds still smarting from a Trump candidacy.
I believe you will see the Indiana governor do more of that in the coming weeks and months. And he should. He should not only attack the Democrat nominee, but more importantly, Pence can be the policy geek to Trump's machismo. Let Mike make the case on trade, the economy, limited government, individual liberties. Why? Because he sounds so AUTHENTIC when he does. It's genuine, not forced, and certainly substantive. He's not so bound by the views of the nominee. If Trump can say, "I'm not worried about Mike's vote on Iraq..." then Pence can deviate a little from the (very fluid) Trump platform and begin to set some parameters on what a Trump administration will ultimately implement. In other words, Pence can show American voters how they will govern, and that is important to those who are still undecided.
Ted Cruz: I wasn't surprised in the least by what happened with his non endorsement. After all, I saw firsthand what the Texas senator did to the Carson campaign in Iowa - suggesting Dr. Carson was withdrawing from the race and headed home to Florida. That's low. Irrespective of his rationale, Cruz lost and he lost big on his gambit. We will see him again, but he will be damaged political goods from which he may never recover.
The RNC: They could have done a better job in assisting the candidate, vetting various speakers and running the traps as any good party apparatus should. It is difficult to blame an institution, but this is the reason you have a political party - so the process can be formalized and seamless. Party officials missed the mark, and deep down, they know that.
The Media: The entire week could be summarized as "missed opportunities." There were plenty of small storylines throughout the area in Cleveland that would have made for great copy, yet all the 4th Estate wanted to write about were speeches and who wrote what. That's unfortunate. CNN's Andrew Cuomo repeatedly tried to get Paul Manafort to admit he lied about the plagiarism is a prime example. Repeatedly, reporters are trying to insert their views - and even themselves- into these stories. That's not journalism. And it needs to stop. If you want to offer comment and editorial bias, become a columnist.