Republican National Convention — Day Two

Welcome back to Cleveland! Our PJM team is here on the ground for Day Two of the RNC. The first day of the convention ended with controversy, as Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama's 2008 DNC speech, while the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, chose the first day of the convention to escalate a grudge match with John Kasich, over the Ohio governor's non-attendance at the convention in arguably the most important swing state in the nation. Nevertheless, the opening night of the convention stayed true to the theme of "Make America Safe Again," as speaker after speaker reminded Americans that we face threats both here and abroad. The speakers who said one version or another of "kill the terrorists" were greeted with thunderous applause, more so than for any other topic throughout the day.  Trump thinks he's the man to bring leadership, security, and most of all, strength back to the Oval Office, and it's clear that many in the arena believe him.

Today we're expecting to hear from Speaker Paul Ryan, Governor Chris Christie, several of Trump's children, and we will also see the vice presidential nomination speech (no details on the agenda about that). Sen. Mitch McConnell will be here doing face painting and making animal balloons for the kids (or else he's giving a speech...I may have mixed him up with a street performer I saw last night.)

The Theme is "Make America Work Again," so I guess UFC's Dana White, Kerry Woolard from Trump Winery, and Sajid Tarar, founder of American Muslims for Trump are all going to explain how that works tonight.

(We're also going to see if we can find the giant ball of Trump hair that's rumored to be around here somewhere. If anyone knows the location, please leave us a note in the comments!)

In case you missed it, check out Day One of PJM's convention coverage:

Sajid Tarar, founder of "American Muslims for Trump," led Republicans (and a nation watching at home on TV) in a Muslim prayer for Donald Trump tonight. Welcome to your new Republican party, folks.

ICYMI earlier today:

I ran into a state representative from Ohio today who told me off the record that he thought this assessment could be spot on. He suggested an even more Machiavellian scenario: If Kasich appoints himself to Sherrod Brown's (now hypothetical) vacant senate seat, he could appoint his lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, who is running for governor, to fulfil the remainder of his term (which expires in 2019). Shhh...nobody tell Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted, who are also running for governor. It all sounds very House of Cards (without the throwing people under the Metro part). (I hope.)

Republicans across the board are spending a significant amount of time talking about "crooked Hillary," warning how dangerous she'd be as president. It's pretty obvious that the GOP electorate is not enthused about Trump (polls bear that out) and many of them are hesitant about supporting him. Party leaders know that, to some extent, fear-mongering about Hillary (with good reason) is going to be the only way they'll coax some of those Never-Trumpers and Probably-Never-Trumpers to the polls to cast a ballot for Trump in November.

New Jersey Governor Christie is a fantastic cheerleader for Trump. Or, rather, his most able attack dog. He's best in his role as prosecutor and he would be an excellent attorney general. One gets the feeling he could clean out that hornet's nest that we call the Department of Justice — and in short order. Christie went step by step through all of Hillary's "crimes" in office, from the Russian reset, to the Iran deal, to her email scandal. He repeatedly asked the crowd if she was innocent or guilty, to which they roared over and over again, "Guilty!"

Apologies for the typo on the tweet below but it's so cold in here that my hands are shaking. The temperature in the Q is approximately 30 degrees below zero, with wind gusts of 60 MPH (I'm probably exaggerating a little, but I can actually see people's hair flying around and papers being moved by the AC. Why do Republicans hate women???)

Our PJM team has been spread out all over the various events around the city of Cleveland, but several of us bumped into each other tonight at the Quicken Loans Arena. From left to right, Paula Bolyard, Sean Rainey, Nicholas Ballasy, and Tyler O'Neil.

Che Guevara supporter said Donald Trump will make America into a Banana Republic. No word as to whether Guevara himself did such a thing...

I caught the Ohio Speaker of the House outside, thanking cops.

These Dr. Seuss conservative books are pretty hilarious.

Oh, and there was a street preacher.

Make that two.

Today has been pretty crazy. I followed the protesters as they ran from police. It seemed like they were trying to get into the convention, but kept running further away from it.

At one point, it was reported that a shot was fired.

But when I got to the scene, police denied it. This guy also denied it.

This is what it was like in the middle of protesters.

It's official -- Donald J. Trump is the Republican Nominee, just pushed over the top by New York State.

One Cleveland bar wants you to know that you still have a choice, America.


The area right outside the entrance to the security perimeter is a popular gathering place for protesters and various and sundry people who want to get their messages out. Of course, there was plenty of Trump swag. You can buy your Trump swag bedazzled:



Straight up with the POTUS seal:



Or tie-dyed:


And what GOP event would be complete without Abe Lincoln in attendance?


One Trump supporter was on hand to blow the shofar for his guy. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but he was definitely dedicated to both his craft and his candidate.


These guys, on the other hand, warned the crowd about false prophets. Loudly. With speakers.



I'm pretty sure this one wasn't on the up and up...but then again, you never know with this campaign. If don't be surprised if I send my next update from a helicopter over Lake Erie!