#RNCinCLE: Trump’s Big Night

#RNCinCLE: Trump’s Big Night

#RNCinCLE: Trump’s Big Night

Tonight, Donald Trump officially accepted the nomination of the Republican party, and gave the keynote speech of the night – and really, as the nominee, this is the keynote speech of the convention. Politico released a draft of the speech hours before it was given, and Trump mostly stuck to the script on the teleprompter, with limited exceptions.

Donald Trump at the RNC (screenshot from YouTube)
Donald Trump at the RNC (screenshot from YouTube)

The speech had strong points and weak points. Here is a quick recap of those moments.

Public Safety
Trump really came out swinging in support of the police, dubbing himself “the law and order candidate.”

He also made the issue of illegal immigration a cornerstone of his public safety policy. One of his most poignant and moving moments was when he referenced Monday’s speeches by the parents of those who have lost children to illegal immigrant crime.

Amid chants of “build that wall!” Trump promised to do so to stop illegal immigration, and cut down on both human and drug trafficking in the process.

Trump referenced the attack in Nice, as well as San Bernardino and Boston. But one of the best off-script moments came when Trump mentioned the Orlando shooting as an attack on the LGBTQ community.

Trump left the audience in no doubt that he would be a terror warrior.

We’re light on details as of yet, but the commitment is there.

Hillary Clinton
Trump really was at his best when he landed some solid punches on Hillary Clinton’s record and reputation.

And he absolutely trashed the double standard that Hillary benefited from when it came to her emails.

But Trump’s speech did have its weaker moments.

Ironically, Trump has claimed great authority on trade and trade deals. But his promises of “consequences” for companies that leave the United States were extremely problematic.

I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.

My opponent, on the other hand, has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization – another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes.

She supported the job killing trade deal with South Korea. She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP will not only destroy our manufacturing, but it will make America subject to the rulings of foreign governments. I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries.

Note to the Donald: the President may make the trade deals initially, but CONGRESS is the one who passes the bill and then has the President sign it into law. Otherwise, the initial agreement has no force in law. While you can agree or disagree with Trump’s policy on trade, it is extremely problematic that he gives little indication of the need to work with Congress on these trade deals.

We got a lot of one-line mentions and promises in this speech that were not elaborated on at all.

These were red meat being tossed to a pleased crowd, but unless he talks about these issues in coming days, they will end up looking like weak toss-away lines that had to be said because it was expected of him.

Trump ended on a strong note, with a reverse pledge (in contrast to Hillary Clinton’s “I’m With Her” pledge):

Donald Trump gave a very coherent and fluid speech, with lots of good points and some very shaky ones. It’s now all on him to continue to sell his vision to not just the Republican party, but to the rest of the country.

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