Winners, Losers From Day 2 of the RNC

Never Trump movement 'dead from multiple causes'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2016 4:39 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2016 6:20 AM CDT
Winners, Losers From Day 2 of the RNC
Donald Trump Jr. speaks during the second evening of the RNC.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Tuesday was "Make America Work Again" day at the Republican National Convention, though there was easily as much talk about Hillary Clinton as there was about the US economy. Still, the convention seemed to run far more smoothly than on Monday—it was as if they "had brought in an entirely new team of organizers," according to Politico—and the GOP was unified enough to deal with the matter of choosing its nominee. Among the winners in another eventful day at the Quicken Loans Arena:

  • Donald Trump. New York state's delegation put Trump over the top, making him the official GOP nominee 13 months after he launched what was seen as a long-shot bid. He "did the unthinkable on Tuesday night. And, whether you like him or hate him, he deserves a massive amount of credit for that," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post.
  • Donald Trump Jr. He "brought down the house" with a speech that put him on the national stage and added a personal touch to his father's business successes, the Hill reports. It briefly looked like there might be a repeat of the Melania plagiarism controversy, but it quickly emerged that a Francis Buckley line in the speech had been put there by Buckley himself, a friend of Trump Jr.'s who worked on the speech with him.

  • Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor may still be smarting from VP rejection, but the crowd loved how he denounced Clinton from the point of view of a former federal prosecutor. They chanted "Guilty!" and "Lock her up!" as Christie made the case against Clinton.
  • Avocado growers. Discussion of jobs largely fell by the wayside, but soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown, who has an avocado farm in California, managed to deliver both an in-depth discussion of jobs and a passionate call to help US growers by restricting avocado imports, Politico reports.
Among the losers:
  • Party unity. Trump won the nomination, but some 721 delegates voted against him in the evening roll call, making it the most divided vote of its kind since the contested convention of 1976, the New York Times notes.
  • Never Trump. The movement "succumbed to multiple causes of death" on Tuesday, with many rebels deciding they had no choice but to support the nominee, the AP reports. The Utah delegation announced that all its 40 votes were going to Ted Cruz, but they ended up going to Trump because Utah GOP rules require ballots to be cast for active candidates only.
  • Paul Ryan. The House speaker has been trying to signal to party elites that he's uncomfortable with Trump and is "still the smart conservative they've come to love," but the balancing act fell apart on Tuesday, according to Dylan Matthews at Vox. "When the chips are down, when the nomination was being decided, Ryan was out there in front, pushing Trump forward," he writes.
  • Ben Carson. He "quickly went off script—and not in a good way," writes Cillizza at the Post. His linking of Clinton to Lucifer via Saul Alinsky was a strange moment, writes Tina Nguyen at Vanity Fair, though since Carson has "accidentally" insulted Trump numerous times over the last few months, the campaign must have been relieved "that Carson's meandering thoughts went straight to hell, and not somewhere closer to home."
(More Republican National Convention stories.)

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