GOP convention takes a different route

From Cleveland, Ohio

On the outside, this 2016 Republican National Convention looks like any of the 14 major party conventions that I have covered since 1988. But as he did in his run for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump is doing things a bit differently.

“It will be a different kind of convention,” Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort told reporters here in Cleveland.

One big change is that there is no keynote address on the first night of this GOP convention. That speech is usually meant to set the tone for a party’s gathering.

Four years ago, it was given by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; but in 2016, no one politician stands out on the first night.

One might even wager that most of the attention on Monday night’s speaking lineup will be for Melania Trump, Trump’s wife, and possible future first lady.

Each night of the GOP convention will have a theme:

+ Monday – Make America Safe Again
+ Tuesday – Make America Work Again
+ Wednesday – Make America First Again
+ Thursday – Make America One Again

The speaking schedule this week has some familiar names, a variety of Trump family members, a few GOP Senators and U.S. House members, some (but not all) of those who ran against Trump, like Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

And then others like Scott Baio, who reportedly was a bit shocked to be asked to speak at the GOP convention.

This was not your father’s election year. This might not be your father’s candidate. And this certainly doesn’t seem to be your father’s GOP convention.

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