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The balloons have dropped. The confetti has fallen. The 2016 Republican National Convention is over. Donald Trump has accepted the Republican nomination for president of the United States.
He gave a long, winding speech and covered a range of topics. And if you missed it, you can start at the bottom of this live blog and scroll up.
But we’ll have a lot more analysis of how the GOP convention sets up Trump for the race till Nov. 8, how Hillary Clinton might respond and more. So get some rest and then check back with us Friday morning. And if you forgot how we got here, this should refresh your memory:
Another quick reaction: Trump could become president, obviously. Or he could lose by 15 points. I’m not sure we really know a lot more than when the general election unofficially started six weeks ago.
Quick reaction as we’re wrapping up: This speech will either be famous or infamous for many years to come.
The other risk of Trump’s strategy, of course, is that it comes with too low a ceiling, in terms of the number of voters he can potentially persuade to his cause. As I wrote this morning, there are fewer “real Americans” than you might think.
In case you’re wondering, just 31 electoral votes in the swing states are primarily won outside the Eastern time zone. The vast majority of swing states are in the Eastern time zone, where we are less than 30 minutes from midnight.
Has this speech gone on too long? Searches for Trump on Google are down about 50 percent from their peak an hour ago.
“Yes you will” definitely has a “strong executive” vibe.
The crowd was just chanting “yes you will” as Trump reeled off some of the things he’s going to do when in office.
Trump’s line about appointing “justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution” got just about the loudest applause of anything in the room tonight. Seems plausible that the same will be true next week when Clinton talks about the Supreme Court at the DNC.
To hear stories of how people are grappling with some of the issues Trump is bringing up — college education costs; health care; jobs — you can check out our five-part podcast series Kitchen Table Politics. Within each post you’ll find audio from people telling us stories, in addition to audio of the whole episode. Within the health care episode, we do an analysis of the two candidates’ health care plans, including Trump’s desire to end the Affordable Care Act. Even his running mate, Mike Pence, did not seek to abolish the ACA, but added many conservative restrictions to its implementation in Indiana.
That Supreme Court line from Trump may have gotten the biggest response of the night so far.
Per my earlier comments about convention speeches and talking about change, Trump has developed a “gutting existing policy” thread as he talks about trade deals and foreign policy. The thing is, the policies he talks about are as much the result of Republican leaders as Democratic ones. This highlights Trump’s highly unique situation as a party outsider, but it’s also not uncommon for candidates who come at the end of a political era — the Reagan era in this case — to find themselves in this position.
This is another speech that has gone on long past prime time ended in the East. What perhaps is more interesting about that is that a lot of time was wasted with a rambling performance by Tom Barrack and very long segments by the house band.
Here’s the rough progression of topics in this speech as I see it from the transcript, which Trump has mostly followed so far; some of the transitions have been rather abrupt:
crime-immigration-poverty-debt-foreign policy-rigged system-Clinton email scandal-Bernie Sanders-Mike Pence-shootings of police officers-inner cities-ISIS-LGBTQ-intelligence-immigration-trade-taxes-infrastructure-education-Obamacare-TSA-veterans-Supreme Court-religion-his family-Make America Great Again.
Believe it or not, given how much people like to complain about it, the majority of Americans rate the TSA as being “good” or “excellent.”
Trump attacks Obama and Clinton on energy regulation. As I noted last night when oil executive Harold Hamm made similar comments, if Obama is trying to shut down the U.S. oil industry, he’s doing a terrible job of it. Oil production has surged during Obama’s term.
I think the Republican convention just cheered a proposal for a big-government stimulus plan.
Trump says America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. That’s a bit better than his more frequent (and oft-debunked) statement that the U.S. is the single highest-taxed nation. But it still isn’t true. The exact rank depends on the definitions you use, but by most measures the U.S. is middle-of-the-road among developed nations when it comes to taxes.
This is a long speech in a convention that’s mostly had short ones. Based on the leaked transcript, we still have perhaps another 20 or 25 percent of it to go.
Wanting well-negotiated (and enforceable) trade deals makes sense and is something we arguably lack with China right now. But it’s very unclear why bilateral deals should be preferable to big multiparty deals. And NAFTA, of course, only involves three countries.
Trump’s “now I’m going to make our country rich again,” sounds like a secular version of a prosperity gospel. But Trump’s approach to trade brings him into stark opposition with the establishment wing of the Republican Party, which favors trade agreements and more open labor regulations. If Trump loses in November, how will the GOP make sense of the issue of trade? It’s a topic I discussed earlier this week with the descendents of two former Republican presidents, both of whom believe there is no going back from a globalized world and marketplace. But Tweed Roosevelt, great-grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt, noted, “The Republicans are going to have to find a way to deal with the problems people face, the job uncertainty and flat income.”
The longer this speech goes on, the more I wonder about those speechwriters that were supposedly brought in — I’m unsure of the structure of this speech. I thought he had already covered trade, but just now, Trump looped back in on it again. Kind of odd — usually politicians like to have a stump you can follow logically.
Earlier tonight I noted that economic research has found that trade with China has cost the U.S. as many as a million manufacturing jobs. But economists generally view NAFTA far more positively. A key difference: NAFTA is an actual trade agreement, with protections for all parties.
I basically had two questions about Trump’s speech when I first read it this afternoon.
First, the delivery. Could he make it sound natural while reading a speech like this from the teleprompter? I think the answer to that is basically “yes.”
My second question was whether he could go so far down the law-and-order path, and deliver a speech with so much invective, but also have it function as a normal presidential acceptance speech? I think the answer to that is basically “no.”
A quick search of convention speeches going back to Reagan suggests that, at least among Republicans, mentioning who has endorsed you is not standard in a nomination speech.
While Trump has stayed close to script, he’s gone off sometimes. He just applauded for himself for at least the third time this evening and joined the crowd in chants of “U.S.A.” for at least the second time.
At this point I’ve written this so many times that it hardly seems worth it, but the wall would do nothing to stop the many undocumented immigrants — 40 percent, by one estimate — who enter the country legally and then overstay their visas. (In fairness, Trump did later mention this in passing.) And as I noted earlier, net immigration has been roughly zero in recent years.
The crowd is eating up building a wall, but, as I pointed out, most Americans don’t want a wall along the Mexican border. The fact that this is such a big applause line and Trump loves it sends the message to me that this is a speech for the base and not so much for the middle of the electorate.