24° Good Afternoon
24° Good Afternoon
Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

GOP Convention Day 2: Paens, parades and attacks resume

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday, July 18, 2016. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

As Day Two of the Republican spectacle unfolds, three key themes resume: gushing tributes to Trump, a parading of party captives and an airing of grievances against the Democrats.

First and most unique will be a prime time, salute-to-Trump show, a celebrity nonroast, in which he has already appeared.

This was launched Monday by his third wife, the former Melania Knauss, whom publicists describe as a “Slovene-American jewelry and watch designer” and “former model” who became a citizen 10 years ago.

“Like me,” she assured us, “he loves this country very much. . . . He will never, ever let you down. . . . Donald gets things done.” And so on.

For a family follow-up Tuesday, Tiffany Trump, the daughter of the candidate and second wife Marla Maples, gets to speak. So does Donald Trump Jr., her half-brother from first wife Ivana Trump.

The Tuesday speaker who perhaps best symbolizes Trump’s flamboyant public and business profile will be Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, which Trump hosted in his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

Gaudy show promoter White once told Playboy: “I don’t believe in God, the devil, ghosts or any of that [expletive].” He admitted to taking steroids and has openly called others in the business by derogatory names. He said that he finds the porn industry “quite entertaining” and that he wants to appeal to gay fans.

The second theme: a parade of tough-talking Republicans brought to heel by Trump, several of them choosing to swallow the nominee-to-be’s fairly recent, withering insults.

On Monday there appeared former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom Trump previously ridiculed as having donned black glasses to make him look smart.

On Tuesday, you’ll see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose bowing to Trump began well before the nominee rejected him for vice president, but after the billionaire accused the governor of lying about the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Christie leaves the governorship next year under term limits, so he’s looking for a job. But House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) , who plan to be back in power next year, are also speaking Tuesday.

Special attention will be paid to the words they choose.

As video from Monday shows, an absent McConnell drew boos in the hall on Monday when his name was put up for temporary convention chairman. McConnell said only last month of Trump, “it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues.”

Ryan, who delivered a minimalist endorsement of the presidential candidate, has called Trump’s denunciation of a Mexican-American judge “the textbook definition of a racist comment” and said the proposed Muslim ban didn’t reflect the principles of America.

Former Trump rival Ben Carson also takes the stage Tuesday.

Not everyone has come around, of course. Ohio Gov. John Kasich — denounced by Trump aide Paul Manafort as “petulant” during the Day One proceedings — is among the prominent GOP names declining to back Trump.

The alienated host governor’s schedule for Tuesday includes visits to the Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan delegations, and to a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Of course, the easy part for all feuding factions of the GOP comes in attacking the Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.

That should come on Tuesday from a line of seasoned pols — and likely from Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

That’s three shows in one, for those watching at home.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News