Cleveland machinations: An effort to clear the decks for Donald Trump, Mike Pence

Mike Pence and Donald Trump. AP photo.

Mike Pence and Donald Trump. AP photo.

CLEVELAND — As we approach 1 p.m., the Republican world is taking shape on two different levels, many miles apart.

The formal naming of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as presidential candidate Donald Trump’s running mate will become somewhat official within the next hour or so, although the ceremony is schedule for 2 p.m. Friday. Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, now an also-ran, has a Facebook session scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Here in Cleveland, the rules committee has been in recess for several hours, while Trump and RNC forces attempt an early shut-down of the anti-Trump movement that threatens to become a public display of discontent.

When he spoke to the RNC platform committee on Monday, chairman Reince Priebus bragged on the transparency of Republican transactions. But every political party and convention has its backroom deals, and one is in the works now in Cleveland.

Anti-Trump forces are attempting to hang on to 25 dissenting votes in a 112-member rules committee, which would allow them to carry their effort to unbind pledged delegates to the convention floor. Forces backed by Priebus and, presumably, Trump are looking for a bloc of 85-plus votes that would allow the rules committee to quickly put an end to the rebellion – and allow a focus on Trump and Pence going into the weekend.

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Starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought you every key moment in the 2016 presidential race. A team of AJC journalists will be at this month’s Republican and Democratic national conventions, continuing to provide that deep coverage.

To track major political developments, check in with the Political Insider blog at http://politics.blog.ajc.com/ or the Georgia Politics page at http://www.myajc.com/s/news/georgia-politics/.

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