GOP Convention 1
Monday July 18, 2016
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From last week's MULLINGS:
my heart is with Gingrich, but my money is on Pence
I only bring that to your attention because it's the first time during this entire election cycle that I've been even close to being correct predicting anything.
Governor Mike Pence locks down the religious and cultural conservative wing of the GOP. If the campaign can keep Donald Trump aimed in one direction for more than the length of a phone-in interview, he can begin to attract GOP moderates and Republican-leaning independents knowing his right flank is protected.
I don't think they can or he will.
I will not be in Cleveland for the GOP Convention this week because - largely because - no one asked me to be there.
There was a time when I would have gone anyway telling the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices that it was good marketing. I would see and be seen. I would be able to meet up with Republican State Chairs and their executive directors and make a pitch for getting a contract as a communications advisor, and so on.
At this point in my life I know what would happen: I would find the hotel bar where others of my
experience were hanging out and we would spend the bulk of the four days having younger people stopping by to say "hi" before moving onto some event or party that wouldn't even begin until 10 PM.
In between these excruciating exercises in trying to remember the name (and/or job) of those stoppers-by, we would tell the same stories to each other that we have been telling for the past 35 years and laughing just as uproariously - if a bit self-consciously - at our wins, losses, mistakes, and recoveries.
As luck would have it, BBC has booked me to be on a political panel for their noon program - 7 AM Eastern - at their bureau in Washington, DC which is a block and a half from my office.
So, when anyone has asked me over the past two weeks, "Are you going to Cleveland," I was able to humble brag, "Much as I'd like to, I have to stay here to do BBC."
As it happens, I have been warned by London that events in France and Turkey (and now Baton Rouge) might take precedence over an arcane discussion of the Republican Convention and it would not surprise me at all if the U.S. political segment gets bumped from the line-up.
Nevertheless, 50,000 other people will not be saddled with their BBC commitment and will have descended upon Cleveland by the time you read this.
About 2,470 of them will be delegates who, on Tuesday, will officially nominate Donald Trump to represent what is left of the Republican Party in the Presidential Election of 2016.
The Trump team easily beat back a "Never Trump" attempt to change the rules last week, thus removing the last remnants of that effort.
The polls show (for the most part) that the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is very close.
If Clinton loses this election she will go down in history as the worst major party candidate for President in the history of the Republic. And in that, I am including Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden.
Kennedy, in November of 1979 (which campaign ended up with Ronald Reagan beating Jimmy Carter) was given by CBS, a full hour in prime time to be interviewed by senior correspondent Roger Mudd.
Mudd asked Kennedy the "gotcha question" of the cycle: "Why do you want to be President?"
Kennedy so badly fumbled that question that his campaign was over before it began. Mudd later said "It was like a parody of a politician's answer."
Joe Biden, for his part, in 1987 lifted - verbatim - parts of a speech by British Labour leader Neil Kinnock in a stump speech he was using. Biden got caught, and his campaign was over.
Hillary Clinton is the luckiest person in the world because she is running against Donald Trump. The other luckiest person in the world is Donald Trump because he is running against Hillary Clinton.
324 million people in the country and these are the two choices we have.
Alexander Hamilton would weep, Thomas Jefferson would write, and Aaron Burr would want to shoot someone.
Lad Link: A really, really good column by @ReedGalen on the campaign of Donald Trump.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the GOP Convention page, to the current population clock, to the Roger Mudd interview and to the London Telegraph newspaper's comparison of Biden speech with Kinnock's.
Also a Mullfoto from Nationals Park Saturday night - offering a glimmer of hope.
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