A Bizarre First Day for Republican National Convention

I haven't yet watched any of the 2016 Republican National Convention but the first day was a beauty.

I haven’t yet watched any of the 2016 Republican National Convention but the first day was a beauty.

Anti-Trump forces were denied a meaningless vote and got angry.

Trump called Fox News during the prime time coverage of the event to attack Ohio Governor John Kasich for not being at the event.

And Trump’s wife cribbed whole passages from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech and also Rickrolled the audience.

At least Clint Eastwood didn’t rant at a chair, I guess.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul L. says:

    Forgot Progressives imply Mother Of Benghazi Victim a Unhinged liar.

  2. Jeremy R says:

    Additionally, one of the day’s speakers, Antonio Sabato Jr., went right from the stage to what was meant to be a fluff interview at the ABC table, but somehow ended up spouting conspiracy theories about the President’s loyalties and religion:


    “We had a Muslim president for seven and half years,” Sabato Jr. said, adding “I don’t believe he is [a Christian].”

    “I believe that he’s on the other side…the Middle East,” he told ABC News. “He’s with the bad guys.”

    Then, this morning, the Trump campaign is busy insulting everyone’s intelligence by denying the plagiarism accusations and somehow blaming the whole controversy on Sec. Clinton:


    “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These are common words and values that she cares about her family, things like that,” he continued when asked by anchor Chris Cuomo about the plagiarism allegations. “I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy. This is once again an example of when a women threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”

    Manafort said Melania Trump’s speech relied on “words that are common words” and that “certainly there’s no feeling on her part that she did it.”

    “To expect her, to think that she would do something like that, knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night, is just really absurd,” he said.

  3. David in KC says:

    His whole campaign has been a slow moving train wreck. Why would the convention be any different. (The fact that the slow moving train wreck got the nomination is another issue that will be keeping political scientists busy for a long time.)

  4. You forgot to mention Chachi.

  5. stonetools says:

    @Paul L.:

    Forgot Progressives imply Mother Of Benghazi Victim a Unhinged liar.

    It’s not an implication; it’s a matter of fact. Eight Republican committees have now said Clinton did not cause the deaths in Benghazi. For example, there was no “stand down” order.

    Unfortunately, the Republicans have perpetuated a sordid lie, which this grief stricken woman has now convinced herself is true. And the Republicans have exploited this delusion. Sickening.

  6. CSK says:

    The hilarious thing about Melania’s plagiarism is that she’s claiming she wrote the speech, and the speechwriters are claiming they wrote the speech.

    So who gets to take the fall?

  7. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.: New to politics, are ya?

  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    I hear that if Superman can trick a terrorist into saying “Radical Islam” backwards, they have to go back to the Middle East and can’t Jihad for 90 days.

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    Melania seems like a decent person who was undone by a lazy writer. It’s typical Trump and another example of why he’s unsuited to be President that instead of just apologizing (saying something like, “it was inadvertent. Michele’s speech was eight years ago and Melania loved it and simply forgot where those words came from”), he goes into denial and accusation.

    (Also, there was apparently a rick roll in her speech).

    Honestly, this is the perfect Trump scandal. It’s stupid. It’s meaningless. And it distracts from the much more alarming speeches, like Robertson and Giuliani. So, ultimately, Trump benefits.

  10. bookdragon says:

    @Hal_10000: I understand feeling sorry for Melania. English is not her first language and, after all, she’s married to Trump and being dragged along behind his ego.

    However, treating her like a victim here is a bit insulting. Is she really just eye-candy – a naive clueless bimbo he picked up when the previous wife started to show her age – or is she an intelligent competent woman? If the latter, she bears some responsibility for a speech she originally claimed to have written mostly by herself.

    And even if she’s a clueless bimbo, I can still only feel so sorry for her… she did say she and Donald had been together for 18 years, which would put them together at least a year before he divorced Marla. So her path to success and citizenship appears to have been to become the mistress of a rich guy and get him to marry her after he dumped the previous wife.

    Of course, I can’t fault her love for America. I’d have to want to come here awfully badly to sleep the Donald….

  11. Paul L. says:

    Democrats keep changing the subject to “Stand down Orders” every time someone brings up that the Benghazi attack was blamed on the Youtube.
    Or as the Chris Mathews said the misguided PR after the event.

    I remember Progressives saying that the anti Muslim hate speech like the video should not be protected by the 1st amendment and should be banned.

    Sept. 14, 2012: Bill Press, radio host: What, if anything, should happen to the people who made this video? I gotta tell you, I think they are as guilty, that’s my opinion, I think they are as guilty as the terrorists who carried out those attacks against our embassy in Libya. Look, we don’t know everybody who was involved, but we’ve seen, I’ve seen some of them on television. This is a group of extremist, Muslim-hating, so-called Christians in southern California who are using their religion to stir up hatred against Islam. They’re basing this on their Christian beliefs. They are, I believe, every bit as guilty as al Qaeda members who, think about it, who use the Koran and abuse their religion to stir up hatred against the United States. […]

    I think we…ought to be identifying the people who made this video and go after them with the full force of the law and lock their ass up.

  12. wr says:

    @Paul L.: And you keep changing the subject to gibberish. What the hell are you talking about?

  13. Gustopher says:

    Clint Eastwood ranting at a chair was fine.

    I mean, it was dumb, and it didn’t work as he hoped it would, but it wasn’t an unhinged crazy man yelling about “the End Is Nigh!” like Giuliani, or using a distraught mother as a prop after she has been fed conspiracy theories.

    The chair was just awkward. Clint Eastwood can reasonably be considered an expert showman, and sometimes the experts are wrong. Ok.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    So far this convention has been typical Trump. He promises the universe: “Hollywood! Stars! Sports Legends!” Then we get Chachi and the Ultimate Fighting League guy. Even the politicians are for the most part 2nd and 3rd tier. Typical Trump, an unbelievable feast while he’s talking but he delivers mediocre Olive Garden level fare. His university, his wine, his restaurants, the list goes on and on. All talk about magnificence and then a hasty run down to JC Penny at the last minute to throw something together.

  15. Matt says:

    @Paul L.: The RNC peeps couldn’t get Sean’s wife to comment so they went after his mom instead. Using her grief over the loss of her son to attack a political rival. Sean would of hated it…

  16. Paul L. says:

    So by your logic
    Dr. William Petit never criticized the Police for their inaction during the Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders.
    So the sister should STFU?
    At Court Hearing, Sister Of Cheshire Home Invasion Victim Rips Police Response

  17. Matt says:

    @Paul L.: I talked to Sean on Jabber the night of the attack. You can fk off with your false outrage.

  18. Matt says:

    @Paul L.: I talked to Sean on Jabber the night of the attack. You can F**k off with your false outrage.

    There wasn’t anything Clinton could of done.

  19. Matt says:

    @Matt: Also her she straight lied about “all security was pulled from the embassy”. He commented shortly before he had to go that one of the local security peeps was taking pictures of the compound earlier in the day and that had him somewhat worried. He said it a kind of joking manner with a hint of seriousness. We didn’t think it was that big of a deal as Sean had dealt with mortar attacks and more when he worked in the green zone in Iraq. Figured he’d be back later or the next day like usual.

    The Ambassador was famous for being accessible to the people and they loved him for it.

    For detailed information as to why Sean was in Benghazi and prior events check this link. His mom was clearly being used.


  20. Matt says:

    Has everyone really forgotten how Reagan cut and run after 220 marines and more died in Beirut? There wasn’t even half the outrage over that as we’re seeing over Benghazi…