Tom Steyer tweaks Donald Trump with $1.7 million in ads

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Protests were small. A “Duck Dynasty” star stirred the crowd, as did a “Happy Days” actor. Darrell Issa was sighted at the North Carolina delegation, while Tom McClintock ginned up Californians in Sandusky, 60 miles away. Celebrity interviewer Daphne Barak explained why she’s backing Donald Trump. Tom Steyer played the part of fly in the punchbowl. And then Melania Trump spoke and let’s just say her sentiments, er, echoed. We’re having the time of our lives in Cleveland, and in Sandusky. Did we say it’s 60 miles away?

Issa’s take

California’s Darrell Issa was keynote speaker at the North Carolina delegation’s breakfast at the Cleveland Marriott East, which is much more conveniently located than where the California delegation is housed, in far-off Sandusky.

Taylor Batten, The Charlotte Observer’s editorial page editor, was there to take it all in. Issa, a San Diego County Republican, reminded delegates that the Grand Old Party ended slavery, fought for women’s right to vote, and under Dwight Eisenhower built the interstate highway system.

All of which serves as a reminder that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan is not the party of Donald J. Trump.

There has been no Issa sighting in Sandusky.

Take a number: $1.7 million

Tom Steyer, @TomSteyer, the billionaire environmentalist who has vowed to do whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump, is spending $1.7 million on ads timed to air during the Republican National Convention. Each urges people to register to vote. One is all about women. The other is about Trump’s wall. Both would help in blue California if Steyer decides to run for governor.

Taking it easy

For all of the predictions about hell breaking loose on the first day of the Republican National Convention, the protests remained remarkably tame – unlike the convention floor.

Supporters of Donald Trump gathered in a park to cheer on the presumptive nominee and his vow to make America great again. They swear he’s not racist.

A few hours later, Trump haters marched through downtown with dozens of cops on bikes keeping them in check. Police only lost control one time – when the protesters started climbing the barricades outside Quicken Loans Arena. The revolt was short-lived, though.

Here’s to hoping the rest of the week goes this smoothly.

Double take

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect,” Melania Trump told the crowd Monday night.

Inspiring words, not just in Cleveland, but in 2008, when Michelle Obama delivered the same lines pretty much verbatim, along with a few others in Melania’s speech.

“OMG. Melania,” tweeted Jarrett Hill, an alert Los Angeles journalist/interior designer who right away picked up the similarities. “Melania must have liked Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, since she plagiarized it.”

Within a few hours, the story was yuuuge on social media, and cable was airing whole passages that appeared to have been lifted. By midnight, a communications advisor for Trump had issued a statement saying “Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.”

Or somebody’s thinking. Doubt it’ll be the last word on this.

Our take

Editorial: We need a path for justice and peace.

Erika D. Smith: Police officers are in hell right now – now that angry, unhinged black men are resorting to vigilante justice, setting traps for anyone with a badge.

Dan Morain: Donald Trump’s gravitational pull is a powerful draw for certain followers of celebrities.

Editorial notebook: Rep. Tom McClintock brought ’em to their feet at the Kalahari resort in Sandusky. Reflecting the tenor of the crowd, two-thirds of whom are new to national conventions, he proclaimed a new Republican Party.

Karin Klein, among our regular contributors: Requiring labels for GMO foods makes no sense at all.

David Ansolabehere and Barry Bedwell’s Soapbox: Water from oil production is perfectly safe.

Beth Slutsky’s Soapbox: California students will be taught a far more inclusive history.

Their take

Kansas City Star: Americans are in a crucial battle together to reduce senseless violence.

Biloxi Sun Herald of Mississippi: We must become more of a community, a nation that solves its problems together, not one that exploits them for political advantage.

San Francisco Chronicle: There can be no better measure of the uneasiness about Donald Trump within the Republican establishment than the roll call of who won’t be in Cleveland.

Hugh Hewitt in The Washington Examiner: Donald Trump makes a governing choice. You have to work hard not to like Mike Pence.

Denver Post: Colorado GOP delegates should abstain. If ever a vote required the kind of purity test activists are so fond of, refusing to back a racist, misogynist megalomaniac would be the time.

Cindi Andrews, Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio Gov. John Kasich has little to lose from a tiff with his party’s nominee. Donald Trump has everything to lose in November in this Midwest swing state if he can’t figure it out.

Syndicates take

Paul Krugman: Donald Trump wouldn’t have gotten this far if he weren’t tapping into some deep resentments.

Trudy Rubin: Rutgers team’s anti-terror ideas travel far.

Eugene Robinson: The coronation of a charlatan.

Michael Gerson: Compliant in Cleveland.

Tweets of the day

Shane Goldmacher @ShaneGoldmacher: “You can hear the crowd audibly groan at Paul Manafort saying John Kasich is ‘embarrassing the state.’ 

Matt Borges, @ChairmanBorges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, responded: “Manafort still has a lot to learn about Ohio politics. Doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Hope he can do better.”


“Ohio loves our governor. He turned this state around and united Ohioans. No wonder he has a 60% approval rating.”


Jarrett Hill @JarrettHill: “Um. This is becoming a thing.”