While the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland got off to a rocky start with a floor rebellion among “Never Trump” advocates, and accusations of plagiarism involving Melania Trump’s speech, Donald J. Trump on Tuesday triumphed in completing a stunning climb to become the party’s nominee for president. Early Wednesday a Trump aide, Meredith McIver, took credit for Mrs. Trump’s speech that mimicked one delivered by First Lady Michelle Obama during her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign.
It was a rough five days leading up to the convention—a botched VP rollout, an awkward “60 Minutes” interview—but in the end the party faithful agreed that Trump is the best person suited to return them to the White House. Trump’s handlers hoped the formal nomination would end both the rancor clouding the Republican Party and overshadow a controversial campaign that saw the New York billionaire draw domestic and international criticism for his often bellicose comments.
Trump, as is tradition, was crowned by his home state, New York, as four of his children joined the state’s delegation on the convention floor. There was a last display of dissent as states that the nominee didn’t win recorded their votes, but the Trump juggernaut was as potent as it was when it dispatched with ease a large field of primary contenders over the past year.
“Congratulations, Dad, we love you,” shouted Donald Trump Jr. Colorado’s Ken Unruh, a leader of the defeated anti-Trump forces, called the convention a “sham” and warned party leaders that their efforts to silence opposition would only result in keeping some Republicans this fall against presumptive democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign issued a stinging rebuke of Ohio Gov. John Kasich in his home state, say it was “petulant” and was “embarrassing” for him not to endorse Trump or attend the convention.
The Trump campaign demonstrated its outreach to African Americans the first three days as outspoken Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke spoke on July 18, along with the Rev. Mark Burns of South Carolina, Rev. Darell Scott of Cleveland, Colorado State Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, former opponent Dr. Ben Carson and, on a local note, Jamiel Shaw Sr. whose son was gunned down in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home by a member of the 18th Street Gang, Pedro Espinoza, who was sentenced to death.
“[Trump] is telling the truth about immigration,” Shaw Sr. said in reference to joining Trump during a June 2015 speech at a Beverly Hills event when he forcefully criticized unchecked immigration from Mexico. “You’d think Obama cared and that Black lives mattered…no. And we know Hillary is Obama’s third term.” In closing, Shaw Sr. said Trump was “sent from God.”