RNC Day 1 was filled with Floor Fighting and Headlining Speakers

Donald Trump and Melania Trump waive

IMAGE: AP Photos

The Republican National Convention got off to a boisterous start on Monday with a demand from many anti-Trump delegates for a roll-call vote.  A roll-call vote would require all 2,472 delegates at the convention to vote on a procedural motion that is required for the convention to officially begin.  

The vote was fought for in an effort to stall the opening of the convention, thus embarrassing Donald Trump, if that can be done, and creating further uncertainty about his nomination.  

Initially, there were nine states in which a majority of the delegates supported the vote.  This met the threshold of seven needed to force the vote to take place.  However, three of those nine states backed out, leaving only six states in favor of the vote.  The anti-Trump delegates fell just one state short of forcing the vote which would almost certainly would have caused chaos and frustration among the majority of delegates who simply wanted to get on with the first day of the convention.  

While on the outside it appears that three states simply changed their minds about delaying the start of the convention, a feeble attempt at a protest of Trump’s nomination in the first place, the commotion inside the Quicken Loans Arena told a much different story.  

Aides from the Trump campaign, as well as the Republican Party as a whole, scrambled frantically throughout the convention hall in order to flip states who were in favor of the roll-call vote.  They wore earpieces to receive instructions and carried affidavits which they circulated to delegates as they pressured them to change their minds. Ultimately, the Republican Party, indubitably prepared for an event such as this, stifled the call for a vote.

Make America Safe again sign

IMAGE: Getty Images

Once the noises from the chaos settled down, the convention was able to begin with its day 1 theme of “Make America Safe Again”. National defense is nothing short of a cornerstone of the Republican Party and they had several speakers lined up to lay out their vision for the country’s safety.  

Benghazi, unsurprisingly, was a major focus.  Two Marines who fought in the attack on the embassy as well as the mother of one of the four who died, spoke about their experiences and the failure of the State Department to provide assistance to the soldiers in their time of need.  While their case was compelling, it seems unlikely that voters will put much weight on this topic as the issue seemed to lose its gusto several months ago.  

The second part of Monday’s safety theme focused on immigration, an issue which Donald Trump has brought to the forefront of this election. Speakers on this issue included former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and the siblings of Brian Terry, a border patrol agent who died in the “Fast and Furious” operation.  

The third and final prong of Monday’s theme included a focus on law enforcement in the United States.  This issue had a heightened degree of prominence due to the recent deaths of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas over the past week.

Scott Baio at RNC 2016

IMAGE: Getty Images

Scott Baio, the television actor known for his roles on Happy Days, Charles in Charge, and Arrested Development, made an appearance as well as Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson.  However, the most anticipated appearance of the night was made by none other than the potential first lady, Melania Trump.  

Melania Trump at the RNC 2016

IMAGE: AP Photos

The wife of Donald added a softer tone to the RNC, portraying Donald Trump as a family man with a strong desire to repair the damage that the nation has suffered.  She reiterated his success in the private sector and made the case that this success would carry over into his service of the United States.  She also worked hard to establish the point that Donald would fight for the nation as a whole, including all races and classes of people. Overall, Melania gave a solid performance which accomplished all that would be desired from a potential first lady.  The question now is whether or not her appearance will influence female voters to support Trump despite his history of insults and demagoguery aimed at certain women.

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