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GOP Convention takeaways: ‘Americanism, not globalism’

The Republican Convention, culminating in the formal nomination of Donald Trump as candidate for the Presidency, was controversial and triumphant in equal measure. Our Washington partners, Gavel Resources, walk us through the highlights of the four day extravaganza in Cleveland, Ohio.

With the gaveling in of the 2016 Republican National Convention in historic Cleveland, Ohio, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan began one of the most compelling televised conventions since the infamous 1968 Democratic Convention that turned into a riot over the continued presence of American troops in Vietnam. Although last week’s convention didn’t escalate to that level (as some had feared) there were fireworks nonetheless. To summarize the events of last week, each day will be presented with the most consequential moments and the prevailing theme, as follows:

Day One. Theme: “Make America Safe Again”

The opening day of the convention played out as many pundits had predicted, with the “Never Trump” movement making its final, desperate stand by attempting to force a roll call vote on the rules that bind delegates to vote on behalf of their represented constituents on the first ballot. In laymen’s terms, this means that a select few delegates from Colorado and Virginia tried to make the RNC commit to allowing their delegates to vote for their own choice of nominee, instead of according to how the people who they represent voted. This potentially damning manoeuver was squashed by a quick gavel  from presiding officer Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack, who was quick to award the victory by voice vote to the presumptive nominee and efficiently stamped out the Never Trump hopefuls.

By and large the most significant (and potentially damaging) story of the first night was the alleged plagiarism committed by a speech writer for the keynote speaker and Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump. The charge was hurled at Melania Trump for two paragraphs that closely mirrored a speech made at the 2008 Democratic National Convention by Michelle Obama. This quasi scandal put a damper on an otherwise well-delivered speech from Melania Trump.

Day Two. Theme: “Make America Work Again”

On the second day of the Republican Convention, Donald Trump was officially offered the Republican Party’s nomination for president. Donald Trump, Jr., the son of the Republican nominee, was awarded the honor of pledging New York’s delegates to his father, which put Donald Trump over the needed 1,237 delegate threshold and officially made the business mogul the party’s nominee. After a contentious day one walk out of the Colorado and Virginia delegations, this moment’s importance was vital in showing that the party was one step closer to unity.

The speeches on the second night were headlined by such notable figures as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former mayor of New York City, Rudy Guiliani, who delivered fierce and fiery speeches lambasting Clinton. 

Donald Trump, Jr. delivered the keynote address, wherein he heralded his father as a candidate “not beholden to special interests… and one who funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket just to prove it.”

Day Three. Theme: “Make America First Again”

The third evening’s speeches would again bring controversy to the forefront, as Texas Senator Ted Cruz opened the floodgates of disapproval by urging voters to vote “according to their conscience” and to elect a president who will “defend the Constitution” instead of outright endorsing the official Republican nominee. As soon as this statement was made, the New York delegation unleashed a flurry of “we want Trump” shouts and other delegates booed the Texas Senator off of the stage. Time will tell if the decision to not endorse Donald Trump will hurt Senator Cruz’s political career.

Immediately after Senator Cruz left the stage, former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, went into damage control by saying, “if you want to protect the Constitution this fall, the only possible vote is for the Trump/Pence ticket.” While reassuring, the actions taken by Sen. Cruz will no doubt add fuel to the narrative that the Republican Party’s unity problems are persistent.

By a large margin the highlight of the night was the riveting speech given by the official vice presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who was effective in bolstering Trump’s economic appeal by citing Indiana’s massive success under Pence’s tenure as Governor: the highest credit rating in the nation, a $2 billion surplus, taxes that were cut every year since Pence took office, nearly 150 thousand new jobs, and more Hoosiers in the workforce than ever before. On a night that could have spelled disaster for the Trump campaign, Mike Pence proved his worth and then some.

Final Day. Theme: “Make America One Again”

The finale of the 2016 Republican National Convention saw the longest acceptance speech from a nominee in nearly 30 years.

Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, introduced her father, who would be officially accepting the Republican nomination for president. Ivanka’s passionate speech was designed to display a softer side to the party’s nominee, and by and large she was successful by highlighting her father’s “kindness and compassion that will enable him to be the leader [America] needs.”

In the final speech of the week, Donald Trump formally accepted his party’s nomination for the office of president of the United States, and subsequently gave a speech that can only be described as epic in scale, length, rancor, and passion. Throughout his speech, Trump declared his unwavering support of the police, saying, “an attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.” He also doubled down on his promise to ensure border security, citing the number of illegal immigrants that have crossed the border this year, which, according to Trump, “already exceeds the entire total from 2015.” Perhaps his speech can best be summed up in his exclamation that, “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo!”

With thanks to William Sellery and Evan Blauser of Gavel Resources, a member of the Interel Washington Group. Want to know more about how a Trump or Clinton administration would impact on your business? Contact jason.jarrell@interelgroup.com

Photo: Matt A.J.