Major-party conventions give rare glimpses of big regional players displaying loyalty to bigger national players.
Donald Trump’s Republicans in Cleveland saw onetime New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani shouting on his behalf: “The vast majority of Americans today do not feel safe!”
Gov. Chris Christie, defeated and deputized by Trump, did his memorable “Guilty or not guilty?” refrain on the alleged transgressions of Democrat Hillary Clinton, feeding cries of “Lock her up!”
Others who boarded the Trump train after criticizing the candidate included Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who’d earlier backed Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio.
King chided Clinton for appearing at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia with the mother of the late Michael Brown, who was shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, prompting demonstrations and rioting.
Shattering the claim that Brown was shot with his hands up, federal and local investigators found Wilson’s actions justified. “I am saddened to have to make this statement because I have had a friendship with Hillary Clinton for more than two decades,” King said.
But, he added, Clinton’s display left him no choice.
It made for an odd counterpoint when the Democratic convention saw Giuliani’s then-Republican successor Michael Bloomberg denounce his own former social acquaintance, Trump. Of Clinton, Bloomberg said: “Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience.”
Other appearances by New York figures were more expected. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tipped his hat to the famous 1984 speech of his late father, Mario M. Cuomo, before saying: “Fear is weakness. And no matter how loud you yell, our America is never weak.”
Clinton’s onetime Senate campaign manager, Mayor Bill de Blasio, launched the stronger personal attack on Trump: “He was born rich. Then he made a career out of ripping people off, racking up billions in debt and bankrupting his companies.”
Sen. Charles Schumer, seeking his fourth term and poised to move up into the leadership of upper house Democrats next year, invoked as usual the needs of the middle class. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who succeeded Clinton in the seat, spoke of the candidate’s commitment to easing the lot of working mothers.
Retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) even got some unexpected attention with his name floated as a possible successor to the ousted Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida).
Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans had a share of clear alienation. Among the absent: Ex-Gov. George Pataki, briefly a candidate, who said Trump would drive the GOP “off a cliff.”