Good morning, and welcome to Friday. It was a historic night in Cleveland as Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president. His speech was the capstone to an improbable political rise that he hopes to top once more by winning in November. He left the smoke machine behind this time, and walked out on stage after an introduction by his daughter Ivanka that served as an appeal to young people and women voters. Let’s check the Digest.
1. This was no “shining city on the hill” speech. Trump’s address was an appeal to those who feel their country has lost its way, and he presented himself as a leader who would take strong action to get it back on track and most of all restore law and order. He talked about violence and chaos in the streets and promised that it will soon come to an end. He talked about rising homicide rates and police officers killed in the line of duty. He talked about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants roaming the streets ready to commit crimes. He painted a picture of an economy in ruins. On world affairs he said, “America is far less safe and the world is far less stable than it was when President Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy.” And he argued that Clinton is unqualified and lacks the judgment to respond to the internal and external threats facing the country. He called himself the voice of the forgotten men and women. (New York Times)
2. At 73 minutes, it was the longest acceptance speech in modern history. Trump threw out a lot of facts and figures about the economy, crime and other problems he sees confronting the nation. A lot of them went by quickly, so let’s see what the fact checkers had to say. Bottom line: many of the things he said were off target or cherry-picked to fit his narrative. (Washington Post)
3. Before his big speech Trump held a private meeting with Republican donors. He said if he had run as an independent he would have defeated the Republican candidate. He mocked Ted Cruz for the reaction to his non-endorsement Wednesday night. “There wasn’t a person in the room that liked him!” he said. “That’s unity!” He also mocked John Kasich and Rick Perry. In other words, Trump behind closed doors is apparently a lot like Trump in public. (Politico)
4. The day after the speech that may have made or broken his future in Republican presidential politics, Ted Cruz wasn’t backing down. He said he is not in the habit of supporting people who attack his wife and family and that he would not be “a servile puppy dog” to the Trump campaign. (NPR)
5. Sen. Al Franken went to Cleveland with some other Democrats Thursday to provide a counterpoint to the GOP convention. He was critical of the overall tone of the Republican gathering, saying it was dedicated to tearing down Hillary Clinton instead of building up Donald Trump. Franken offered a backhanded compliment to V.P. nominee Mike Pence, saying, “it was refreshing to see someone say something nice about Trump who wasn’t related to him or stood to inherit a lot of his money.” (MPR News)
6. Finally, can Trump win in Minnesota? Even some GOP delegates say it’s doubtful. But others point to Jesse Ventura’s 1998 victory and say Trump is capable of tapping into the same distaste for politics as usual. They all seem to agree that if Trump wants to win here needs to spend time and money in the state, and so far he has not done that. (MPR News)
Now it’s on to Philadelphia for the Democrats. I hope you’ll be back with us on Monday.