Is my headline correct? It would have been had Paul Manafort not strangely decided to make Ted Cruz’s low-key non-endorsement a made-for-TV “Two Minutes Hate.” Let’s compromise and say that Trump’s speech tonight is the only one that matters much.
Don’t you worry. They’re going the extra mile this time.
Trump's speech tonight will be run thru plagiarism software — out of an abundance of caution — senior Trump source tells @KatyTurNBC
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) July 21, 2016
Safe bet: Trump’s speech will be a hit provided that he stays on-script, which I think he will. His major speeches thus far, in which he reads from a prepared text instead of riffing for two hours about how unfair the world is to him, have all gone fine. His writers are capable of landing some hard, well-aimed shots on Hillary Clinton and he has a protectionist message that’ll get working-class voters to sit up and pay attention if he’s smart enough to showcase it. There’s a draft of the speech circulating among media types right now; if it’s accurate, he’s planning a feast of immigration and law-and-order red meat. He’ll have a gigantic audience too thanks partly to his pre-politics celebrity and partly to the “I can’t believe this sh*t is happening” curiosity among detractors. The entire Trump family has done a polished and professional job so far (the plagiarism kerfuffle aside). Unless Trump decides to ad lib a “let me tell you what I really think of Mexicans” soliloquy, the convention will end on a high note and the unpleasantness with Cruz will be forgotten. For now.
Also speaking tonight: Entrepreneur and Gawker nemesis Peter Thiel, who’ll appeal to the GOP to be more inclusive of gays; top establishment crony and top Trump crony Reince Priebus, who’ll probably make some absurd plea for unity; favorite child Ivanka Trump, whom everyone — including me — likes but who’s now making pronouncements about the future of the party despite not being a Republican herself (like father, like daughter!); and the nominee himself, who may or may not be able to resist venting his dislike for “Lyin’ Ted” amid his own pleas for unity. Live commentary will be beamed directly into the window below. Enjoy.