Concluding a convention in which delegates descended to a new low by chanting “Lock Her Up,” Donald Trump yelled, gestured wildly and declared that he is the law and order candidate who will make neighborhoods safe, walk away from trade deals and end terrorism.
Trump opened by saying he was humbled by the Republican nomination, but showed no humility as he proclaimed for more than an hour, at the top of his lungs, that he is the one candidate equipped to lead America out of what he portrays as dark days and a rigged system.
The crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena often cheered wildly, as Trump bellowed that he will build a “great border wall,” turn bad trade deals into great ones, confront China, and take care of veterans like they have never been taken care of before.
The wealthy son of a wealthy developer sought to portray himself as the voice of working people, while his surrogates attack organized labor, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be nominated for president, as the establishment candidate.
Trump is boorish and boastful, but his message resonates with many voters. Democrats underestimate him at their peril. Clinton has survived many campaigns. In Trump, the first-time candidate, she will face a candidate like no other.
Taking a pass
Sarah Palin couldn’t see Russia from her house in Alaska. Donald Trump’s vision seems blurry, too.
Sen. Tom Cotton, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, and many other Republican National Convention speakers have assured the nation that in a Trump presidency, allies would know that the U.S. would have their backs.
So it was jarring when Trump told The New York Times that he would decide whether the U.S. would help defend Baltic nations against a Russian attack based on whether they had paid their share to NATO.
The Sacramento Bee: Trump’s dangerous ideas would undermine NATO.
L.A. Times: Pay up or we might not defend you.
At the California delegation breakfast on Thursday, Cotton and Rep. Darrell Issa, a San Diego County Republican, initially answered our questions about Trump’s dangerous take by questioning the accuracy of the Times’ story.
Cotton, a future presidential candidate, didn’t have time to get into a detailed discussion; he was running late. Issa, who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, busied himself signing his book for delegates and offered little insight into his view of the nominee’s stand on the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, among the United States’ most loyal allies.
“Often people do not understand that stating policy is not controversial,” Issa said.
If Trump were to travel to Estonia, he could in fact see Russia, directly across the Narva River.
Taking a dive
Fight promoter Don King, like Donald Trump, is known for his questionable hairstyle and running his mouth. The boxing promoter delivered on both this week. On Wednesday night, King led reporters around the convention floor, answering any and every question thrown his way.
“It’s not about Donald Trump. It’s about the people,” King said, the rhinestones on his jeans jacket glinting under the glare from several TV cameras.
In June, King ran a full page in the Cleveland newspaper that he owns, the Call & Post, to endorse his friend Trump. We suppose that still means something in some circles.
Editorial: Proposed health insurance mergers are too big not to fail. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has said that savings are “vague, speculative and impossible to verify.”
Lookin’ good: Words don’t begin to describe. But McClatchyDC video producer extraordinaire Natalie Fertig captured Republican delegates busting moves, to the rock ’n’ roll sounds of George Edward “G. E.” Smith.
Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert: California’s broken death penalty system can be fixed.
Chris Granger: Kings are ready to lead volunteer charge for region.
Josette Lewis’ Soapbox: Sacramento region should lead the world in ag-tech innovation.
Orange County Register: Jerry Brown’s push for employees to cover more of the cost of their benefits is reasonable, but outsourcing would save more money.
San Jose Mercury News: The TSA’s job is to make airline passengers feel safer and actually make us safer. It’s failing on both.
Taylor Batten of The Charlotte Observer: Antonin Scalia’s ghost hovered over Republican National Convention.
Miami Herald: Police officers’ unwritten rule? When in doubt, shoot the black guy, even if he’s a caretaker for a man with autism.
Jonah Goldberg of The National Review: If the choice is between forgiving Ted Cruz’s political calculation or Donald Trump’s lizard-brain narcissism, I choose Ted.
Charles Krauthammer: Republicans don’t quite achieve unity.
Michael Gerson: Mike Pence pushes an imaginary and corrupt narrative.
Dana Milbank: GOP is divided: Kill Hillary Clinton or just jail her?
Gail Collins: At the Republican National Committee, every night is kids’ night.
Nicholas Kristof: Republicans called Donald Trump what?
Eugene Robinson: The GOP’s convention of chaos.
Take a number: 18
People tuning in to the Republican National Convention saw ethnic faces, including Ben Carson and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Looks are deceiving.
In 2000, the Republican National Convention included 85 delegates who were African American, cause for celebration by the Republican Party of George W. Bush.
This year, the Republican National Committee is not releasing the delegates’ ethnicity. But The Washington Post counted 18 black delegates, out of 2,472. The California delegation is not releasing numbers. Based on our eyeballs, there aren’t many.
Take a bow
Cleveland’s finest, with help from officers from all over the country, have done a marvelous job keeping delegates, and we media types, safe. And we thank them.
In the hours leading up to Donald Trump’s speech, protesters milled about Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Throughout the week, the plaza became the place to be and be seen for anyone who had something to say about Trump, guns, Hillary Clinton, gay people, black people, the crummy economy, cops, God, Jesus, abortion, hell, racism – and not necessarily in that order.
On the other side of downtown, about 200 doctors, nurses and other professionals marched calmly along the official parade route. Police on bikes followed the group, Stand Together Against Trump. Protesters dispersed without incident. Boring can be good.
So long, Cleveland. It has been fun and weird but safe. Let’s hope Philadelphia does as well.