THE BIG IDEA:
CLEVELAND—You could be forgiven for wanting to pop a valium at the end of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech last night. The Republican nominee painted a stark picture of a Hobbesian America that is nasty, brutish and short.
Trump essentially used the most important speech of his campaign – and perhaps political career – to yell fire in a crowded theatre. He warned that we are in “a moment of crisis” and made the case that these desperate times call for desperate measures.
While the message seem tailored to the same disaffected and angry working-class voters who fueled his primary victories, he clearly wanted to convince a national audience that things are so bad right now that they should swallow whatever doubts they have to take a chance on him.
“Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored,” he declared.
Trump is the crisis candidate. If voters feel safe, confident and hopeful in November, his team knows he will lose. To win, he does not just need to convince Americans that the country is on the wrong track – they already believe this – but that we are in the midst of an existential crisis.
“The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life,” he said, repeatedly touting himself as “the law and order candidate.”
He spoke of a violent crime wave, murderous illegal immigrants “roaming free,” innocent children “sacrificed on the altar of open borders,” and an America “shocked to its core.” He described the current environment as “more dangerous … than, frankly, I have ever seen and anybody in this room has ever watched or seen.”
Then he suggested that elites are covering up how bad things have gotten. “I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper,” he declared.
Trump also spoke of “growing threats from outside” the country. “After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before,” he said. “This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
The newly-minted nominee grasped for the mantle of change agent without offering many specifics. “A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes,” he said.
-- Clocking in at 76 minutes, it was the longest acceptance speech at any major party convention since 1972 – drawing comparisons to Fidel Castro. Yet Trump never tried to be uplifting or inspiring.
When he’s not reading from a teleprompter, he can be charming and magnetic. He can also be somewhat self-deprecating, which supporters find ingratiating. But he did not try to be in this setting.
“In a remarkable departure from past GOP conventions, Trump made no mention of God, religion or his faith,” Philip Rucker and David Fahrenthold note.
-- “ Making America Afraid Again” is how David Maraniss sums up the week.
-- The Post’s Editorial Board calls Trump “the candidate of the apocalypse”: “No doubt, for many of his listeners, his words expressed a deeply felt emotional reality. There is real fear in the land; real pain. But it will take real leadership, not the wishful, demagogic brand Mr. Trump embodied Thursday night, to address this.”
-- Many of the claims don’t hold up under scrutiny. Our in-house Fact Checkers challenge the accuracy of 25 different assertions Trump made last night. “The dark portrait of America … is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny,” Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee write. “Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong. When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them. He describes an exceedingly violent nation, flooded with murders, when in reality, the violent-crime rate has been cut in half since the crack cocaine epidemic hit its peak in 1991.” (Max Ehrenfreund has more on why Trump’s crime stats were cherry picked and misleading; read an annotated version of the full transcript here.)
“If reality does not conform to what Trump needs reality to be to support his case, he will invent a new reality,” E.J. Dionne writes.
-- An array of key Republican thought leaders expressed angst and alarm about the tenor of Trump’s speech. Here’s a sampling of the reaction:
A speechwriter in George H.W. Bush’s White House:
This is a very dark and frightening speech.— Mary Kate Cary (@mkcary) July 22, 2016
The chief speechwriter in George W. Bush’s White House (and a Post columnist):
He is summoning primal forces of anger/fear, displaying leadership without moral guardrails, religious principles or civic responsibility.— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) July 22, 2016
Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012:
Give him credit for this: @realDonaldTrump is a dark, disturbed man & he sees in the country what he sees in the mirror.— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 22, 2016
The chief strategist for Jeb Bush’s Super PAC:
Smiling in his grave... pic.twitter.com/gCn5hG2Ire— mike murphy (@murphymike) July 22, 2016
A conservative blogger in the Never Trump camp:
Trump’s speech sounded better in the original German.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 22, 2016
The Republican focus group guru:
Eric Cantor’s former communications director:
Anger. Fear. Anxiety. Instead of leading he's feeding. It's depressing.— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) July 22, 2016
Fox host and Bush 43’s White House Press Secretary:
I want to defeat ISIS fast, too. But please tell me how and what you're willing to do.— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) July 22, 2016
The editor-in-chief of the conservative Richochet.com:
Trump's speech will be remembered as "Mourning in America."— jon gabriel (@exjon) July 22, 2016
What's the opposite of "aspirational?"— jon gabriel (@exjon) July 22, 2016
Trump speeches don't have applause lines. They have boo lines.— jon gabriel (@exjon) July 22, 2016
A GOP pollster who specializes in outreach to young people:
Trump's message: the patient is in such grave condition that the only cure possible is a highly unconventional, if risky, treatment.— Kristen S Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) July 22, 2016
A longtime John Kasich confidant:
This is completely insane - but Hillary has the opportunity to be the optimistic, hopeful candidate coming out of Philly.— Jai Chabria (@jchabria) July 22, 2016
A conservative columnist for the Houston Chronicle:
Usually there's a bit of humor in this kind of speech. Nada.— Kathleen McKinley (@KatMcKinley) July 22, 2016
The conservative columnist at the NYT:
It's a testament to the comic-opera side of this whole business that Trump is much less effective in full strongman mode than just riffing.— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) July 22, 2016
The mainstream media was also taken aback by the gloom—
The Financial Times’s U.S. columnist:
This speech is darker than a coal mine. RIP Reagan Republicanism.— Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) July 22, 2016
The Post’s White House bureau chief:
This is much, much darker than Bob Dole's 96 acceptance speech. And that was pretty dark, as far as these things go.— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) July 22, 2016
A culture reporter for the New York Times:
There are Norwegian death metal bands watching this speech going, "wow this speech is depressing"— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) July 22, 2016
If Reagan gave the "Shining City on a Hill" speech, let's dub Trump's speech, "America, the Crumbling City in a Ditch."— Jim DeFede (@DeFede) July 22, 2016
President Obama’s chief speechwriter from 2005 to 2013:
This is Trump's Nightmare in America speech.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 22, 2016
-- Trump really does want to be the New Nixon.
As promised earlier this week, his speech heavily drew on and echoed Richard Nixon’s acceptance speech at the 1968 convention.
“I am your voice,” Trump said, saying that he will fight tirelessly for millions who have been “forgotten."
Like Nixon, Trump is clearly motivated by profound grievance and a yearning to be shown respect by elites who have never taken him seriously. He bragged at both the beginning and the end of his speech about how many votes he received in the primaries and how he proved the pundits wrong. "Oh, we love defeating those people, don’t we?” he asked the crowd. “I am with you. I will fight for you. And I will win for you.”
Sooner or later, they all copy me. pic.twitter.com/zmHZW7lGVu— Richard Nixon (@RichardNixon103) July 22, 2016
Many bristled that the analogy is unfair to Nixon.
A Weekly Standard writer:
Nixon was "law and order" but also was like Harding ... calm, reassuring, commitment to normalcy. https://t.co/zJJrco6RDZ— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) July 22, 2016
A New Yorker writer:
This is not Nixon, it's Wallace.— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) July 22, 2016
“I wonder what my dad would think of my tremendous success,” Trump said late in the speech. But he did not sketch out autobiographical details that could have made him more relatable. In Nixon’s 1968 RNC speech, for instance, he spoke poignantly about being a poor boy in California listening to the train go by at night and dreaming of a better future. We got nothing like that from Trump, perhaps because the billionaire does not have those kinds of stories to tell…
-- A textbook cult of personality: Trump did, however, present himself as a white knight who is singularly capable of restoring order.
“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he insisted.
“I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police,” he said at another point. “When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country. Believe me. Believe me.”
Wonkblog’s Jim Tankersley compares the text of Trump’s speech last night to Reagan’s speech at the GOP convention in Detroit in 1980: “Most strikingly, Reagan warned voters to place their faith in free people, not powerful leaders. ‘'Trust me' government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what's best for us,’ he said. ‘My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs -- in the people.’”
In this vein, Post opinion blogger Alexandra Petri describes the final night of Trump’s convention as a “creepy, fascist infomercial”: “Donald Trump is selling America a miracle juicer. The juicer is Donald Trump. It is orange and it will never let you down. If you order now, Donald Trump will send you another one free.”
The Weekly Standard editor:
Trump's "I'm the only one who can fix it" marks descent of the Republican Party from republican Constitutionalism to demagogic Ceasarism.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 22, 2016
A conservative writer:
RNC who made fun of "Yes we can" for seven years are now chanting "Yes You Will" on the convention floor.— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 22, 2016
"I alone can fix it." Words from a candidate that should cause all conservatives to reject him.— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) July 22, 2016
-- More broadly, Trump clearly believes in his heart that government is the solution to our problems. This is, of course, should be anathema to intellectually honest movement conservatives and is totally at odds with 36 years of orthodoxy.
The political editor at BuzzFeed, who previously wrote for the conservative Free Beacon:
The other big thing completely absent here — obviously — is the idea that you don't want government in your life. This is all government.— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) July 22, 2016
-- Trump rejected other core tents of modern conservatism, as well. “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” he said.
-- But Trump now owns the Republican Party – at least until November. The audience cheered and applauded for a lot of lines that conservatives in the not distant past would have booed a Democrat for saying. He sounded protectionist and isolationist themes. Sure, not everyone was applauding. And perhaps some in the audience didn’t understand what exactly he was referring to. But the crowd was with him.
This is Pat Buchanan's 1992 convention speech, considerably dumbed down, and-- more important--delivered by the Republican Party's nominee.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 22, 2016
A Boston Globe reporter:
So, who is providing the GOP response to this speech?— Annie Linskey (@AnnieLinskey) July 22, 2016
-- Trump’s alarmism makes it imperative for Democrats to offer a counter-narrative next week.
Most Democrats are still far too dismissive of Trump’s chances. They discount him at their own peril. Just ask Jeb, wherever he’s hiding out this week.
Remember Bill Clinton’s speech at the Charlotte convention in 2012? He effectively laid out the case that the economy had improved dramatically compared to what Obama had inherited when he took office in Jan. 2009.
Obama himself speaks next week in Philadelphia, and you can bet he’ll try to rebut the picture that Trump painted of the economy and the country.
-- It’s all over but the SHOUTING. My ears are still ringing a little bit after Trump basically yelled his entire speech. A lot of male pundits have taken heat for saying Clinton shouts when she talks; these guys ought to call out Trump for doing so last night.
A ton of online buzz was about the yelling—
It's official: Howard Beale is running for President #RNCinCLE— Scott Reid (@_scottreid) July 22, 2016
Donald Trump likes to criticize Hillary Clinton for screaming her speeches, but maybe she’s taught him a thing or two.— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) July 22, 2016
Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s 2014 campaign manager:
A senior editor at National Review:
If people are worried that you are an authoritarian and demagogue -- better not to shout your speeches?— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) July 22, 2016
A writer for “The Daily Show”:
Trump delivered that speech as if everyone watching just suffered a traumatic head injury. HOW MANY FINGERS AM I HOLDING UP?— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) July 22, 2016
-- To his credit, Trump again showed he can be self-disciplined when he wants to be – for a night. Normally he ad-libs in response to a chanting crowd, but he mostly kept chugging along and sticking to the script. As the crowd chanted “lock her up” – a mantra of this convention – Trump didn’t take the bait. “Let’s defeat her in November,” he replied.
A few minute later, a protestor to his left disrupted his speech and held up a sign that said “Build bridges, not walls.” Trump stood patiently, if a little perturbed looking, as the crowd drowned her out with chants of “USA.” At a normal rally, he’d rile up the audience into a frenzy by yelling, “Get ‘em out of here!” But last night, he took a dramatic pause before bellowing, “How great are our police?” The crowd loved it.
-- Looking to the next 100 days, many Republican experts believe Trump did little to expand his appeal beyond the base. “It may be that this speech was so unusual–relentlessly negative and high decibel–that it will punch through more the analysts realize,” National Review Editor Rich Lowry writes. “But it’s hard to believe it’s going to widen his appeal. He didn’t even seem interested in trying to show voters that he has more range than he is shown over the last year. This was a Trump rally dressed up with fancy trappings and a ballon drop afterwards. Surely, Trump’s attitude is that this approach got him this far so why change? And that is the gamble of his entire campaign.”
The Ohio governor's chief strategist:
Trump preaching to choir....no outreach to disaffected GOP/DEMs, Indies. No effort to build coalitions. Someone slipped them 1960 census.— John Weaver (@JWGOP) July 22, 2016
A senior writer at The Weekly Standard:
Any content in this speech that Trump didn't use during the primary?— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) July 22, 2016
The former communications director for the NRSC:
Congrats Don, you've locked up the angry white nationalist vote in November. Unfortunately that doesn't equal anywhere close to 270.— Brian Walsh (@brianjameswalsh) July 22, 2016
An Arizona-based Republican strategist:
I'm guessing this is the first time a presidential candidate has accepted the nomination by yelling the entire speech. #RNCinCLE— Sean Noble (@SeanNobleAZDC) July 22, 2016
The managing editor of National Journal:
This is essentially a GOP primary speech.— Ben Pershing (@benpershing) July 22, 2016
A contributing editor at The Atlantic:
This is a general election speech? #RNCinCLE— Peter Beinart (@PeterBeinart) July 22, 2016
-- A coming out party for the GOP:
Another notable moments from last night that will be remembered was when billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel told the convention, “I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American.” It was the first declaration of its kind, and most of the delegates stood and cheered.
Then, in his speech, Trump referred to the massacre of “49 wonderful Americans” at a gay nightclub in Orlando and promised to “protect our LGBTQ citizens.” The crowd cheered.
Trump paused. “As a Republican, I have to say, it is so nice to hear you cheering,” he said.
What a sea change. The official party platform, ratified earlier this week, continues to oppose gay marriage. But the times, they are a changin’.
Even the running-mate Trump picked to appeal to social conservatives got in on it:
Mike Pence stands and applauds Trump's nod toward LGBT— jennifer steinhauer (@jestei) July 22, 2016
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
WE MAY FIND OUT HILLARY'S V.P. CHOICE THIS AFTERNOON, even though she is not expected to formally announce her choice until tomorrow:
-- The headline in The New York Times is “Tim Kaine Seems Likely for Hillary.” The Wall Street Journal says “Kaine Seen as Clinton’s VP Pick.” The AP’s Ken Thomas and Matthew Barakat write that “Kaine, 58, has been a favorite … since the start.”
-- The timing: Kaine has a series of fundraisers scheduled in Massachusetts on Friday and Saturday. “If the Virginia senator cancels, that’s a strong indication he’s been picked,” the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey reports. “Kaine’s first fundraiser is set for noon Friday at the University of Massachusetts Club in Boston. On Saturday Kaine is scheduled to be on Nantucket at the Chanticleer Garden for a 5:30 pm reception."
“Text messages could go out from the campaign announcing the pick as soon as Friday after an event she’s holding here in Orlando,” Linskey adds. “Clinton is appearing at the site of the Pulse nightclub shooting this morning, making it unlikely that a selection would be announced before then.”
-- Elizabeth Warren does not think it’s her: "I think if it was me, I'd know it by now," the Massachusetts senator told Stephen Colbert last night.
-- Some Democrats caution against discounting Tom Vilsack, per John Wagner and Anne Gearan.
-- There’s a push among some lefties to prevent HRC from picking Kaine or Vilsack. They grumble that the Virginian is too close to the financial services industry and the Ag secretary is too close to “corporate agri-business.”
-- Kaine signed a bipartisan letter just this Monday urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “carefully tailor its rulemaking” regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to ‘unduly burden’ these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks, Anne Gearan reports. “At issue are compliance rules under Dodd-Frank.” Kaine also signed a second letter on behalf of regional banks seeking relief from liquidity reporting requirements. Critics say both requests help banks of many sizes avoid oversight.
-- Kaine brushed the criticisms aside: “People are going to say whatever they want, but I’m strongly for the regulation of the financial industry,” he told reporters in Northern Virginia. “If you spend a lot of time over regulating credit unions and community banks, you are basically letting a lot of the big guys off easily.”
-- Kaine also said he’s undecided on TPP and still open to voting for it. “I see much in it to like,” he told The Intercept, calling the deal an “upgrade” of labor standards, environmental standards and intellectual property protections. But he also voiced concerns about the “dispute resolution mechanisms.”
-- Teasing reporters, Clinton tweeted pictures of Cory Booker from her official account:
GET SMART FAST:.
- Roger Ailes resigned as CEO of Fox News in the face of a growing sexual harassment scandal. He will remain with the company until 2018 as a consultant. Rupert Murdoch will “temporarily” replace him. (Paul Farhi)
- The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, making good on its promise to relocate the event in retaliation for North Carolina’s “bathroom bill." The league is looking into New Orleans. (Tim Bontemps)
- The Justice Department sued to block the Anthem acquisition of Cigna, saying the merger would slash competition and hurt consumers. (Renae Merle and Carolyn Y. Johnson)
- The Islamic State sympathizer who killed 84 in Nice plotted “for months," and French authorities have taken into custody five additional suspects. The attacker’s cellphone had photographs and search histories suggesting that the 31-year-old Tunisian-born driver of the truck had contemplated an attack as early as 2015. (James McAuley in Paris)
- Libya’s U.N.-backed government criticized France for sending troops into its eastern region, calling an anti-terror operation a “violation of the nation’s sovereignty.” (Sudarsan Raghavan and James McAuley)
- Turkish lawmakers voted to give President Recep Erdogan the “state of emergency" he'd requested, giving him new powers to go after dissenters. (Erin Cunningham and Hugh Naylor)
- A Florida Circuit judge was reassigned after he was found to have made a series of disparaging comments about African Americans and females, saying on more than one occasion that blacks could “get on a ship and go back to Africa.” He stands accused of more than 14 violations of the Florida code of judicial conduct. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)
- A police officer was killed in Chicago, and another injured, during a shootout with an “erratic” suspect at a park. (Chicago Tribune)
- More than a thousand Black Lives Matter activists in Wichita decided to cancel a previously-planned protest after the city’s new police chief called, inviting them to a cookout – and a night of open dialogue – with officers instead. (Colby Itkowitz)
- Residents of a small Colorado town were ordered not to drink, cook or even bathe after inspectors discovered that the public water lines are contaminated with THC – the active ingredient in marijuana. (Ben Guarino)
THE OLYMPICS ARE SHAPING UP TO BE A DEBACLE:
-- Waterways surrounding Rio’s Olympic Park are so sewage-infested and filthy that they “bubble with sulfur and methane gases,” while dead fish float atop the surface. There are public health concerns for athletes and visitors. (Dom Phillips)
-- Ten people suspected of planning terrorist attacks during the games were arrested. Members of the gang had declared loyalty to ISIS and were in negotiations to buy an assault rifle over the internet. (Dom Phillips)
-- Researchers found traces of Zika occurring in the common “Culex” species of mosquito in Brazil, a potentially alarming discovery that could portend wider transmission of the virus. (Dom Phillips)
GOP UNITY UPDATE:
-- Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both publicly disagreed with Trump for saying the U.S. would not necessarily come to the aid of a NATO ally if it is invaded by Russia. The Senate Majority leader called NATO “the most successful military alliance in the history of the world” in a Facebook chat with The New York Times. “The speaker believes the U.S. should defend our NATO allies,” a Ryan spokeswoman said. “My hope is that if Donald is elected president, we can convince him to change his mind on it,” said Marco Rubio. “I’m 100 percent certain how Russian President (Vladimir) Putin feels,” said Lindsey Graham. “He’s a very happy man.” (AP)
-- “The ‘alt right’ finds a home inside the Republican convention,” by David Weigel: Geert Wilders strolled toward Quicken Loans Arena, drawing the usual amount of double takes. “‘He heads the Freedom Party in the Netherlands,’ [Rep. Steve King] explained to a delegate who was wondering about the fuss. … In another year the far-right Wilders would not have made it past the perimeter. He has proposed moratoriums on new Muslim immigration to his country and a similar halt on mosque construction. But the rise and nomination of [Trump] had inspired Wilders — and expanded his American fan base. He was just one of many people who might have been labeled extremists, and whose views are rejected by the old elite of the Republican Party, but who attended the convention and related events with a sense that their politics were finally winning.”
Many members of “racially conscious” and anti-immigrant alt-right movement came to Cleveland to celebrate Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP. "They held meetings, co-hosted parties and happily met the news media. Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, held a cheeky sign encouraging journalists to “interview a ‘racist.’”
-- As Ted Cruz continued to dig in on his refusal to endorse Trump, the nominee said the crowd booing the Texas senator is evidence that the GOP has coalesced behind him. From Sean Sullivan and Philip Rucker: Addressing donors at a closed-door lunch, Trump said that he, Reince Priebus and campaign chairman Paul Manafort knew what they were doing when they let Cruz speak. "I am not going to call him Lyin' Ted anymore, but he did sign the pledge and it was pretty definitive. He isn't a team player,” Trump said, people in the room told Sean Sullivan and Phil Rucker report. “At the Thursday lunch, Trump also called criticized Jeb Bush and John Kasich, who skipped the convention and are not backing Trump. ‘If I got beaten as bad as Kasich got beaten by me I wouldn’t support him either,’ Trump said of Kasich … Trump praised Marco Rubio and Rick Perry, who voiced support for Trump during their convention remarks. Rubio delivered brief remarks in a pre-recorded video and did not attend. Trump also took a dig at Mitt Romney.”
-- Donald Trump Jr. said they can win without Cruz’s endorsement: “We knew what was coming. We let him do it. We were the bigger men,” he told NBC.
-- Trump ally Roger Stone suggested that The Donald could back a primary challenger to the Texas senator when he’s up for reelection in 2018. (Huffington Post)
-- A lip reader told “Inside Edition” that, as Cruz walked off stage, Trump can be seen on video asking his daughter, “Do you think I made a mistake?”
-- Ross Douthat praises Cruz in his NYT column: “The future is (unknown) — but you can make sure that when the history of the present year is written, your place won’t be with those timid and temporizing souls who surrendered both their party and their dignity to Trump. That’s what Cruz earned himself last night: not a better chance at the presidency, but a profile in political courage that will be remembered no matter what happens to his political ambitions henceforth. And it’s yet another irony of this most ironic year that it would be the most overtly Machiavellian of Republican politicians who would keep his honor, and pass a test that so many politicians of more conspicuous high-mindedness have failed.”
-- Though Mike Pence’s Cleveland introduction speech was overshadowed by Cruz, many conservatives were nonetheless impressed -- and see him as a tame, straight-laced figure to help balance Trump. Support for the Indiana governor has grown since Trump's prolonged and awkward roll-out of his running-mate.
-- “Pence’s role: Be to the GOP what Trump cannot,” by Ed O'Keefe: “Indiana Republican Craig Dunn said that his state’s governor ... ‘is going to be a firefighter’ — extinguishing political blazes caused by Trump. Pence is widely expected to carry out the key duty of defending Trump among Republicans still skeptical of his candidacy. He is likely to be called on to clarify Trump’s ever-shifting views on policy ... In the coming weeks, Pence plans to play an active role as one of the main conduits between the Trump operation and the GOP donor class."
SHOW ME THE MONEY:
-- Trump settles on a preferred Super PAC. There have been half a dozen entities jockeying to be the main pro-Trump vehicle, which has confused donors and hampered fundraising, Matea Gold reports. There’s also been confusion since the nominee spent the primary season trashing Super PACs. “Trump and his running mate have both expressed willingness to headline fundraisers for Rebuilding America Now, according to Ken McKay, the group's chief strategist (formerly Chris Christie’s campaign manager). Such appearances are permitted by the Federal Election Commission, as long as the candidates do not solicit more than $5,000. Pence offered an explicit statement of support for the group that was shared during a presentation to several dozen donors at the Ritz-Carlton Wednesday.” The group aims to raise $100 million.
-- The Trump campaign said it raised $3.5 million in a 24-hour period that included Pence’s acceptance speech. While impressive, that’s still less than half the $6.4 million Bernie Sanders raised in a 24-hour period after winning the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Matea notes.
-- Bloomberg got ahold of the guest lists for six of the suites in Cleveland: “Some names were predictable, like Sheldon Adelson … Others are more surprising, like Todd Ricketts, whose family spent millions of dollars bankrolling an anti-Trump campaign during the Republican primary. Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs baseball team, attended the convention as an Illinois delegate and was invited to a suite because of his longtime support for the party, despite not having contributed to Trump … Two other prominent anti-Trump donors, Paul Singer of New York and Richard Uihlein of Wisconsin, were also represented. While Singer skipped the convention, his staffers were in town and made the guest list of a suite for convention donors.” See the six-page list here.
-- “FEC Dems trolling for violations at GOP convention t-shirt stands,” from the Washington Examiner: “Democrats on the Federal Election Commission are trolling through the Republican National Convention looking for violations of elections laws, even at the t-shirt stands. Commissioners Ann Ravel and Ellen Weintraub are here looking into what vendors are offering and if they are following the rules. They are paying attention to groups also looking for violators at the convention. Weintraub even took a picture, posted on Twitter, of one vendor's stand and wrote, ‘We're on it — RNC vendors appear to be compliant!’ She was reacting to a tweet from a staffer for the Sunshine Foundation who is also here searching for violations big and small.”
-- Trump’s Muslim ban continues to evolve: “We must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism,” he said, “until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.” He did not specify what that means. Hasn’t France been “compromised by terrorism,” for instance? But the line played well with the crowd.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Zignal Labs tracked more than 6.4 million cross-media mentions of the Republican convention. On social media, at least, Melania Trump's plagiarism was the hottest story of the convention. That was followed by Cruz's snub of the nominee. Thursday tied Tuesday for most convention-related mentions, at 1.7 million.
Among the "undercard" speakers, Peter Theil received the most online reaction:
These are *everywhere* in the convention hall. Spot the mistake... pic.twitter.com/xJFit1cOvN— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) July 22, 2016
Here's some of how Clinton's campaign responded:
Let's review the record. pic.twitter.com/l1ntdZY9fM— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 22, 2016
This is not a dumb digital team. pic.twitter.com/0SPZjCPLlO— Philip Bump (@pbump) July 21, 2016
Pharma Bro, facing serious criminal charges, endorsed Trump:
Trump has my unmitigated endorsement. It was hard won and I was skeptical. The entire Trump family convinced me.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) July 22, 2016
Ivanka Trump, the candidate’s oldest daughter, tried to present her dad as a champion for working moms. “I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat,” the 34-year-old said. “More than party affiliation, I vote based on what I believe is right for my family and my country.”
Ivanka's characterization of DJT agenda sounds extraordinarily progressive. Unusual, but not tied to policy language or position papers.— Jose A. DelReal (@jdelreal) July 22, 2016
Ivanka Trump says her father will fight to make child care more affordable -- an issue he never discusses on the campaign trail.— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) July 22, 2016
Which convention is Ivanka speaking at?— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 22, 2016
Ivanka: Trump will make affordable child care available to all.— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) July 22, 2016
Great idea! But with Trump's tax cut, no possible way to pay for it.
Trump likes to steal from Bernie’s message.— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) July 22, 2016
Ivanka is pulling lines out of Clinton’s.
When Ivanka recited data on the wage gap, one Republican delegate behind me muttered "That's not true."— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) July 22, 2016
So there it is. Ivanka says she is not a Republican and laid out a Democrat policy plan for her father.— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) July 22, 2016
Trump's most trusted advisors, Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner, are Democrats. Just an interesting side note.— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) July 22, 2016
Oh boy -- this gif of Trump touching his daughter awkwardly... (click to watch):
👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/PCc9iqNkFk— Ben Sharpe (@iamsharpe) July 22, 2016
Hmmm. Wonder what Trumo has in mind for fixing TSA... https://t.co/VagqL3Jxbt— Holly Shulman (@HollyShulman) July 22, 2016
Bernie Sanders was live-tweeting:
Trump: “I alone can fix this.”— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016
Is this guy running for president or dictator? #RNCwithBernie
What a hypocrite! If Trump wants to "fix" trade he can start by making his products in the US, not low-wage countries abroad. #RNCwithBernie— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016
Trump is wrong. The real cause of instability in the Middle East was the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq. By the way, where is President Bush?— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016
-- In case you were wondering, Sanders plans on being "a unifying force" in Philadelphia. A spokesman said he has “no plans” to channel Cruz and snub Clinton. “He’s not Ted Cruz, in so many ways,” said Michael Briggs. He'll host a pre-Philadelphia meeting with many of the 1,900 delegates representing him to talk about what "he’s accomplished in the past year and where we go from here," per John Wagner.
Here's video of the Code Pink protester who made it into the arena (click to watch):
Here is footage of the anti Trump protester being dragged out of the arena: pic.twitter.com/WLXMFL11ZY— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) July 22, 2016
Marsha Blackburn snapped a selfie with Mary Fallin:
Cory Lewandowski posed in the mini-Oval Office:
In response to online chatter that she made a Nazi salute while speaking at the convention, Laura Ingraham posted this:
It's Hillary...hands down! pic.twitter.com/rXrd3J0chF— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) July 21, 2016
More follow-up on Cruz's convention speech:
So this is the official name now it seems pic.twitter.com/lbaBlqCFMA— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) July 21, 2016
The RNC's chief strategist agreed -- live on television -- with a congressman that Cruz is an "a--hole":
Neocons are falling away from the GOP because of Trump and his comments about NATO:
I'm not sure how much longer I can stay in a party that makes excuses for Trump. This might be tipping point. https://t.co/Uem9YBQzNK— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) July 21, 2016
Estonia's president, whose country's very survival Trump threatened with his flip comment, responded as well:
Estonia is 1 of 5 NATO allies in Europe to meet its 2% def expenditures commitment. Fought, with no caveats, in NATO's sole Art 5 op. in Afg— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) July 21, 2016
An astute historical analogy:
R's accused Dean Acheson of inviting Korean invasion by omitting it from US "defensive perimeter" in 1/50 speech.Did Trump echo in Baltics?— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) July 21, 2016
Another scene from Cleveland, via the Washington Examiner:
Waiter at Cleveland's Chocolate Bar tells a table: "Just so you know, we have Trump cookies. They taste like racism & shame."— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) July 22, 2016
The owner of Politico:
Trump's 757 was originally built for a Mexican charter airline. I think that's kinda funny!— Robert Allbritton (@R_Allbritton) July 22, 2016
Outside of Cleveland, Michele Bachmann posted this about Black Lives Matter:
On the campaign trail: Clinton is in Orlando and Tampa, Fla.
At the White House: Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, followed by a joint press conference.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Expect SCALDING hot temps to usher us into the weekend, per the Capital Weather Gang’s Friday morning forecast. “Ready to rumble in the heat dome? Mid-to-upper 90s for afternoon high temperatures feel closer to 100+ (even by lunch hour!) thanks to nearly-oppressive dew points near 70 degrees. Any early clouds dissipate quickly, but we could have another batch of clouds during the afternoon give us some natural shade at times. Isolated thunderstorms, especially north of town, can’t be ruled out completely.”
-- The Nationals lost to the Dodgers 6-3.
-- A transit union is suing Metro on behalf of Seyoum Haile, a Metro mechanic who was fired after last year’s deadly L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident. Union officials are seeking reinstatement for Haile, saying his actions should have only resulted in a temporary suspension. (Martine Powers)
-- George Washington University said it is bringing in outside counsel to assist in investigating allegations against men’s basketball coach Mike Lonergan, after players complained about “verbal and emotional abuse” and player mistreatment by the six-year-coach. (Des Bieler)
-- A 68-year-old man was pumping gas in Southeast D.C. yesterday morning when a robber walked up and shot him. Then he hopped into his car and sped off in broad daylight. Police are calling it “senseless murder.” (LaVendrick Smith and Lynh Bui)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
If you missed Trump's speech, here's a 5-minute summary:
Michelle Obama did carpool karaoke with James Corden and Missy Elliott:
The Saturday Night Live cast put together a bunch of sketches from the convention:
Go inside the convention in 360 degrees with The Post's video team:
In this pro-Clinton video, a Trump impersonator tweets instead of picking up the red phone:
"Young Turks" host Cenk Uygur went off on Alex Jones after Jones crashed his livestream at the convention:
Marsha Blackburn quoted Larry the Cable Guy in endorsing Trump:
Watch video footage of the moments before an unarmed therapist Charles Kinsey was shot by North Miami police:
Kinsey spoke about the shooting from the hospital:
This six-year-old stole the show at the convention with her rendition of "America the Beautiful":
Finally, a satanist delivered a unique invocation at a Pensacola City Council meeting last week: