The day began with a crushed coup on the convention floor. It ended with the night’s final speakers trying to rile up a mostly empty room. In between, the first night of Donald Trump’s coronation was entitled “Make America Safe Again” and addressed Benghazi, terrorism and riots on the streets. Here’s what you need to read to get caught up.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s ace team of Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould Sheinin has the lede-all:
CLEVELAND — Donald Trump made a brief appearance at the Republican National Convention late Monday to introduce his wife, Melania, a bright moment in an opening day that was nearly derailed by a raucous attempt to expose the lingering divisions in the party.
Even as the convention got underway with talk of unity, Trump’s critics continued to try to block the New York businessman’s nomination and the fray threatened to spread to the rest of the convention week. The first sign of chaos broke out Monday when Trump’s allies blocked a group of states who wanted to force a roll call vote on the convention’s rules that could allow a challenge to his nomination.
Hours later, during the prime-time portion of the convention’s first night devoted to keeping America safe, speakers ranged from television actors to survivors of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi to former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani. Trump did make a brief appearance on stage, emerging as a fog-shrouded silhouette to take the stage.
Bluestein and Jim Galloway have the running commentary on the evening, including Melania Trump’s much dissected debut.
Bluestein: Outside the hall, protests fizzled out.
Kristina Torres: The always on-message U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, discusses how white civilization is superior to other “subgroups.”
Columnist Kyle Wingfield interviews Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson on ISIS and America’s role in the world.
A helpful reminder that you can find the full multimedia parade of AJC convention coverage here.
Buzzfeed runs down all of the floor drama, which had #NeverTrumpers accusing the RNC and Trump loyalists of dirty tricks.
Trump foe U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, predicts more unrest to Yahoo! News.
Politico’s Glenn Thrush: “A majority of Americans see the country on the wrong track, for sure, but polls don’t illustrate a population gripped by widespread death-metal doom. Yet for about two prime-time hours, viewers were hit with a relentless recitation of death, anger, danger, helplessness, blood, murder, fear and terror – graphic stories about Benghazi, crimes committed by illegal immigrants and out-of-control terrorism abetted by Hillary Clinton.”
New York Times analysis: “In an evening of severe speeches evoking the tone and themes of Nixon’s successful 1968 campaign, Mr. Trump’s allies and aides proudly portrayed him as an heir to the disgraced former president’s law-and-order message, his mastery of political self-reinvention and his rebukes of overreaching liberal government.”
Breitbart: Rudy Giuliani brings down the house!
Don’t forget about the Dems: In what could be a blow to his veepstakes chances considering the sensitivities around lawbreaking these days, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro admitted that he violated the Hatch Act about mixing political views with official duties when he backed Hillary Clinton in an interview with Katie Couric in April. The White House acknowledged the “inadvertent error” and suggested no punishment was forthcoming. (USA Today)
Charles in Charge:
So how did Scott Baio end up speaking at convention? Trump saw Baio at a Thurs. LA fundraiser and said: “Oh, my God, do you want to speak?”
— Edward Mejia Davis (@TeddyDavisCNN) July 19, 2016
Trump makes his WWE-style entrance:
— Aaron Gould Sheinin (@asheinin) July 19, 2016
Rising star U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was bumped from prime time to late night and didn’t get much of a crowd:
I mean. pic.twitter.com/brn0MlDK5P
— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) July 19, 2016
Up next: Tonight’s theme is “Make America Work Again,” presaging an economic focus. Headliners include former presidential hopeful Ben Carson, Donald Trump Jr., daughter Tiffany Trump and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
Your morning discussion topic: The definition of plagiarism and who apparently cribbed lines from Michelle Obama for Melania’s speech.