Well, that was fun.
Top moment of the RNC convention so far? Ted Cruz being booed from the floor as conventioneers realize that he will not say the words, “I am in bed with Donald Trump.”
No seriously, this is the kind of petty infighting usually reserved for Democratic Party contests… and it’s giving me no end of pleasure to watch it unfold. Last night on the NPR/PBS coverage, one of the male commentators who clearly thought he was off-mike could be heard muttering “…so undisciplined…” I really hope it was David “No, not Trump, not ever” Brooks.
So as Ted is wrapping up his “Vote for me in 2020” speech, as the crowd is unleashing a spectacle of boos and “Endorse Trump” shouts, the Donald himself sweeps in on his Trump-copter and strides into the arena like this is “Wrestlemania 23: Battle of the Billionaires.” He joined his family in the VIP boxes and TOTALLY upstaged Ted as everyone flipped back and forth between him and Cruz.
In the end, it started feeling ugly and Ted’s wife Heidi had to be escorted from the Convention space (by “Never Trump” proponent Ken Cuccinelli, no less). She could be seen wildly gesticulating as the crowd yelled “Goldman Sachs!” at the Goldman Sachs private wealth investment manager and she shooed at them like mayflies. (These are the folks you’re hoping will support you in 202, Ted? Hooo-kay.) I could sense the feed producer cutting from camera to camera with glee as they split-screened Ted’s big finish being booed with Donald Trump scowling from the sidelines.
Ted exhorts us to get out there in November and vote our conscience and it’s not clear if he is saying, “Vote for Hillary,” or “Vote for Gary Johnson.” Or maybe “Vote for Lucifer,” just to stick it to Ben Carson. And then he blessed us and scurried off the stage, no doubt thinking he was being a hero. He certainly thought he scored some points because this morning he doubled down on the non-endorsement: “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” even though he was reportedly kicked out of Sheldon Adelson’s luxury suite after his little display.
Ah, that was bracing. I missed the apparently hilarious spectacle of Newt Gingrich trying to get things back on track by translating Ted’s remarks into their proper obsequious tone. I know I ask this every year, but why the hell is ANYONE listening to Newt Gingrich anymore? Oh I know, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for speakers this year–heck, Marco Rubio didn’t even bother to show up in person, but sent in a milky taped endorsement that came across like a cheap late-night infomercial. But can I just mention once again that Newt was forced to resign as Speaker of the House when he admitted to having an affair with intern while married to his second wife AND while pursuing impeachment against Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky?? He comes up this year as a Veep possibility when the man was fined for ethics violations by the House of Representatives. What the hell? how is it that people are going on about Hillary and Benghazi, but conveniently forgetting Newt and his affairs??
Anyway, there’s no one who can really out-do Cruz. Trump’s VP nom Mike Pence gave us a pretty solid, if smarmy speech, full of all the right notes for a Republican also-ran. And Trump appeared upstage of Pence during the bows — literally upstaging him–because there can’t be a nanosecond of time that isn’t All About Trump. Reports came out later that up till midnight Trump was still trying to “get out of” choosing Pence as his VP, but Pence seems to have soldiered on like good cannon fodder.
Only one more day to go! Phew!
If you haven’t watched Laura Benanti on Colbert with a spoof of the Melania Trump speech, you must. It’s a side-splitter!
Up next: The Republican platform (yes there really is one).